Teens seem to be notoriously choosy in their pursuit of “cool,” switching from brand to brand at what seems like the drop of a hat when, only days before, they were swearing their preference for one over the other. The behavior is apparent to the casual observer and is mostly found around things like clothing, electronics and other similar types of products, but can be found where food is concerned, as well. Teens may switch from one energy drink to another, one coffee shop to another or even from on “cool” drink at said coffee shop to another (kids who are “regulars” will often end up with a ridiculously long, complex coffee drink that gives them an unspoken status over less caffeine-addicted friends).
Believe it or not, a research study has been done that studied the “schizophrenic” love-hate relationship teens have with brands, finding that “29% [of teens] claim ‘having cool brands makes me feel cool’ and that they are ‘obsessed with brand names.'” Not only that, but “those who expressed the most intense loyalty were often the same people who would quickly leave one brand for another. Nineteen percent will swap brands due to boredom. One in four will switch if a brand becomes too popular.” The most important brands were those in computers, shoes, MP3 players, cell phone service and clothes, but food was near the top, as well. Around 50% of boys said that the brand of soda and fast food brands were important (Coca-Cola was the most popular), and 41% and 39% of girls, respectively, agreed.
Definitely food for thought if you’re into marketing, or wondering why your kids can be so picky about what you bring home to pack in their lunches.