global teen culture segmentation

i found new research by habbo (the online third space) to be really interesting — especially due to its breadth (i rarely find studies of 10 kids helpful!). i appreciated that, rather than only using external descriptors of the five segments their identify, they talked about the driving internal values for each segment. ypulse (anastasia goodstein — who will be leading a seminar at the sacramento national youth workers convention this fall) posted this summary:

Habbo released some research highlights the other day based on surveying over 58K teens between the ages 11 and 18 from 31 countries and identified five clearly defined behavioral segments amongst respondents. It shows just how much high school hasn’t changed.

Achievers: Ambitious, strong-minded and materialistic. They value material success and while they have many friends, they do not consider other people’s feelings as much as other groups. [aka “a beauty” and “a jock”]

Rebels: Value gathering a lot of experiences in life and enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle. Like Achievers, they want to become “rich and famous,” but are not willing to compromise on having fun in order to achieve this goal. [aka “a criminal”]

Traditionals: Value having an ordinary life and see themselves as honest, polite and obedient. They are keen to help others but are less ambitious and pleasure-seeking compared to other segments. [aka “a brain”]

Creatives: Share many of the same positive traits as Traditionals, but with a focus on creativity. They place value in getting a good education and being influential in life, but they are also active, social and have an interest in traveling.

Loners: More introverted and less likely than other segments to identify with any specific personality traits. They rarely see themselves as active or self-assured, but are more open-minded in their attitudes compared to Traditionals or Achievers. [aka “a basketcase”]

Ok, I know they aren’t exactly like our old friends from “The Breakfast Club,” but you get the gist. Other not so surprising findings include:
– Nearly 76 percent of teens globally use the Internet to instant message friends, and, overall instant messaging was the most popular communication tool in most countries
– Despite 72 percent of teen respondents’ saying they have active email accounts, results showed it is no longer a primary means of communication with peers
– The most popular global Web sites amongst teens are YouTube and MySpace
– In the U.S., the most popular web sites amongst respondents were MySpace and YouTube, followed by AddictingGames, RuneScape and Facebook
– Of those surveyed, 50 percent responded that they forward humorous links and videos to their friends, while 30 percent regularly upload content
– 74 percent saying that familiar brands guide their purchasing decisions. Reinforcing the brand familiarity findings, global well-known brands, such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Nokia ranked high for both boys and girls
– Gender differences are more visible for example in clothing brands. According to the results, boys favor Nike, Adidas and Billabong as their top clothing brands, where as girls preferred Hennes and Mauritz, Nike and Roxy

One thought on “global teen culture segmentation”

  1. “Despite 72 percent of teen respondents’ saying they have active email accounts, results showed it is no longer a primary means of communication with peers.”

    This hit the nail right on the head. Communication between teens is so short and condensed now. Instead of emailing, teens rather send a myspace comment. Instead of talking on the phone with that new potential boyfriend/girlfriend, teens will stay up text messaging all night. It is a different world. The real question as youthworkers is “HOW CAN WE ADAPT OUR COMMUNICATION OF THE GOSPEL IN A WAY THE TRANSCENDS INTO THEIR COMMUNICATION WORLD?”

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