FORUM Do growing brands win younger consumers?
Katherine Anderson and Byron Sharp
Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science at the University of South Australia
Are.young.consumers.easier.to.attract?.We.shed.some.light.on.the.presumption. that. younger. consumers. are. less. loyal. to. brands. and. more. willing. than.older. consumers.to.try.new.brands ..Analysis.of.230.brands.from.12.categories.revealed. a. tendency. for. new. and. growing. brands. to. skew. towards. younger. consumers .. This.suggests.that.younger.consumers.are.slightly.easier.for.brands.to.attract ..The. most.plausible.explanation.is.that.younger.consumers.are.more.likely.to.be.new. buyers. of. the. category .. We. therefore. caution. that.our. results. do. not. support. a. marketing.strategy.strongly.targeting.younger.consumers ..If.a.brand.grows,.then. it. is. likely. to. attract. a. slightly. disproportionate. number. of. younger. consumers .. However,.it.does.not.follow.that,.if.it.seeks.largely.to.attract.younger.consumers,. it.will.grow .
Introduction and backgroundAre.young.consumers.more.willing.to.try.different.brands?.Are.they.easier. targets. if. you. are. trying. to. grow. your. brand?. A. colleague. in. industry. had. noticed. that. spirits. brands. that. were. growing. strongly,. like. Patron. and. Grey. Goose. (UK. 2006. data),. tended. to. over-index. among. younger. consumers,. while. those. that. were. declining. tended. to. over-index. among. older. consumers .. We. were. curious. whether.this. pattern. was. evident. in. purchase.data.from.other.categories.and.what.plausible.explanations.there. might.be ..We.were.particularly.intrigued.by.this.pattern.because.research. by. Ehrenberg. and. colleagues. has. demonstrated. that. such. deviations. are. uncommon,.with.rival.brands.tending.to.sell.to.similar.types.of.consumer.
© 2010 TheMarket Research Society DOI: 10.2501/S1470785309201387
Forum: Do growing brands win younger consumers?
(Hammond. et al.. 1996;. Kennedy. &. Ehrenberg. 2000a,. 2000b,. 2001a,. 2001b;. Ehrenberg. &. Kennedy. 2000;. Kennedy. et al.. 2000) .. However,. it. seemed. plausible. that,. within. the. small. deviations. that. do. exist. between.rival.brands,1.a.systematic.pattern.might.be.evident .
We. analysed. purchase. data. for. 230. brands. across. 12. product. categories,. looking. for. a. systematic. pattern. in. the. data .. Categories. included. coffee,. bar. confectionery,. dog. food,. beer,. spirits,. cars,. internet. service. provider,. mobile. phone. provider,. health. insurance,. car. insurance,. credit. cards. and. financial.services..Some.of.these.categories.grew,.and.some.declined.over. the.period.studied,.providing.a.robust.sample ..The.data.were.generously. provided.by.the.Nielsen.Company.and.TNS ..The.Nielsen.Panorama.Survey. data.described.claimed.purchase.behaviour.(penetration).in.the.Australian. market. for. 2001. and. 2006 .. The. TNS. Superpanel. data. described. actual.purchasing.behaviour.(volume).in.the.UK.market.for.2005.and.2007 ..By. comparing.two.periods.of.data,.we.were.able.to.determine.which.brands. grew. (relative. to. the. category),. which. declined. (relative. to. the. category). and. which. were. new. to. the. category,. and. investigate. whether. the. user. profiles.of.these.brands.were.systematically.different . From. the. raw. purchase. data. (2006/7),. the. proportion. of. each. brand’s.sales/customers. from. each. age. group. was. calculated. –. the. brand’s. age. profile .. The. profile. of. each. brand. was. compared. to. the. age. profile. for. that.product.category ..The.proportion.of.users.younger.than.30.for.each. brand.was.plotted.against.brand.performance.(new.brands.were.assigned. a.growth.rate.of.100%.for.the.period) ..The.axis.intercepts.were.calibrated....