Adolescents are a bit more visible in the summer. School’s out; college is out except for those who stay on campus. And they’re just around. Not all; some are traveling or working summer jobs. But, if you look around in the coffee shops, restaurants, on the roads and highways and hangouts, summer time is teen visibility time.
What does this have to do with you?
Do you have teens with whom you come into contact? If so, now is the time to surreptitiously observe their behaviors in their natural habitat or even engage in discussions with them. You will discover how this soon to be powerful spending group (if not already) makes buying decisions about clothing and services. They may not need a lawyer or a realtor right now, but they do go to doctors, they do purchase clothing, music and streaming services and they buy a lot of food.
Here are some topics you might want to ask the teens you run into:
- What social media channels are they using and how often?
- Do they plan to buy a car any time soon? (You’ll find these numbers very low, depending on where they live and their use of Uber)
- How are they listening to music these days? (Itunes, Spotify, Tidal?)
- How often are they using apps that you rarely use like Uber and Venmo? Have them explain how they interact with these apps.
- How do they choose where to go for healthcare when away from home?
- How do they pick where to eat or drink with their friends?
- Have they been in downtown Detroit recently and what have they done there?
- Are there any retail establishments that are still worth going into in person or do they do all of their shopping online?
- How did they buy their books for school this year?
- When was the last time they were in a mall? Which one?
- What was the last movie they saw at a theater?
- What was the last thing you watched on a screen and what streaming service did you use (if applicable?)
- Can you name any broadcast TV show and what night it is on?
- What was the last live sports event you attended?
Having these conversations gives you a snapshot of how this large sector of the population spends money and responds to marketing. It may not be relevant for your small business right now, but it could be indicative of trends you need to adjust to in the future.
Now go out there and study!