The Value of Youth as an Emerging Market: Key Requirements for Online Services

We just wrapped a study with a proprietary panel looking at an online tool that would normally be considered a “business product” focusing on the user experience and new features. But we did something a little bit different. We threw our teen panel into the mix.

This younger audience really shifted the results.

As it turns out, the youngest person on the proprietary panel was 28 years old. The our teen panel members who participated were roughly 17 to 22. Almost a decade in age difference and if we looked at mean age, roughly a generation.
We called the teens the “emerging market.”
What we found is this emerging market shared a few characteristics that may not surprise you – but could influence how you are developing products. Here’s a quick list:
  1. Make it social. No kidding. You might know that but you may not have embraced it. They want to share, share, share and anything you develop needs hooks into their social world from Facebook to YouTube.
  • Let them integrate SMS (texting) and IM. These are the tools they use to “spread the word” and take things viral. Include them in your specs.
  • They will put up with clunkyness. You don’t have to get it perfectly perfect. Younger people have a much higher tolerance for clicking around to find what they need. That doesn’t mean your service shouldn’t work well, it should, but if you don’t get the user experience right at first, they will help you figure out the right way to do it based on their user patterns.

Want to know more about what we can do for you? Let us know. We can set up a proprietary panel for you using your customers and/or you can tap our youth panel .

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