Looking to the Youth
But there is a lot more to this story. Focus groups conducted by CEA with sets of teenagers suggest some other important considerations for approaching the teenage consumer.
For starters, forget the idea that the teen consumer is necessarily motivated by a sincere interest in the technology itself. They are certainly heavy consumers of technology and possess a greater intuitive understanding than many of their parents, but this doesn't mean they enjoy or understand techno-babble. Acronyms like MHz and RAM are just part of the overall context for them. They understand that more is better, but don't necessarily know to what those terms truly refer. Rather, they care more about the experience of owning and using, and what one product can offer to enhance their usage experience vs. another. This comes down to a preference for features and benefits versus proven technical superiority. Suggestion: Stick to product narratives and user stories rather than product specifications.
Another misconception to dispel: That the teen consumer is totally Web-oriented. Sure, they are heavy users of the Internet, particularly as a place to shop, but this doesn't mean they'll make all or even the majority of their purchases online. Instead, the focus group results suggest teens prefer the in-store experience as it caters to their experiential and hands-on approach to products. Plus, they like the instant gratification a store-based purchase offers, along with the ease of return and straightforward method of payment. The retail environment must support their desire to research products both in person and online.