Adolescence/teenage is considered to be a significant phase in everyone’s life. It is the transformation from childhood to adulthood, and its rather unsettling for some due to the various hormonal changes that one goes through. There are many stereotypical emotions attached to teenage – moody, affected by peer pressure, impulsive etc.
However, studies over the years indicate that many teenagers need not fit into this category and are actually quite different from one another. Studies attribute this to the differences in nutrition, upbringing, genetics, mental state etc. as these affect the brain development of a person.
Factors affecting brain development
• Socioeconomic status
Socioeconomic status of a teenager depends on the overall income of his family and specifically the parents. There is no clear knowledge on why exactly it affects the child. But indications point to stress or lack of nutrition due to lower income, which in turn could affect the development of brain.
• Classmates and friends
Teenage is undoubtedly some of the most important formative years in the life of a person. This is when opinions are formed and influences are stronger. A negative influence or opinion affects the attitude and outlook of a person. For example, having more friends translates to better brain activation, and thus confidence, and higher resilience to mental health issues.
Different norms, customs and ways of life are attached to each culture. This could also impact brain development in different ways and affect how one perceives the situations and circumstances along the way. A calm and secure home instills a sense of security and confidence in a teenager’s mind.
Just like any other challenge in a path, challenges associated with teenage years also have to be dealt with in the right way to overcome and cross the hurdles, and pass on to the next stage of life. Despite the many challenges, adolescence is a decisive phase in the transformation from childhood to adulthood.
Marketing to teenagers
Although each teenager may be different, marketers can best channel their marketing efforts by categorising the target audience based on their responses to marketing stimuli. In today’s world, teenagers relate most to the digital space with social media platforms like instagram.
Marketers can reach out to their target audience with one or both of the following ways –
• Partner with an influencer – This could be a celebrity or social media influencers who either review products or advertise through their profiles. Teenagers are looking for cool and interesting things to follow, and can be attracted to such influencers.
• Use an upcoming personality – Teenagers want to be part of new things that they can share with friends. If they can find a new person via a new product, that’s two new relationships formed.
Marketers thus have to focus on finding relevance with teenagers, quickly as their attention span might be limited to just a fleeting glance while scrolling through a page or profile. The underlying idea behind both approaches is to help teenagers find new and exciting products or things that would appeal to their senses.