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Special report
Agents of change: how
young consumers are
changing the world of
Ian Spero and
Merlin Stone
The authors
Ian Spero is Founder and Managing Director of Spero
Communications Ltd, London, UK. E-mail:
Merlin Stone is IBM Professor of Relationship Marketing at
Bristol Business School (UWE), Business Research Leader with
IBM UK Ltd, and Director, The Database Group Ltd., QCi Ltd., and
The Halo Works Ltd. E-mail:

Information society, Young adults, Customers, Marketing

This paper looks at young adults relationship with digital media.
From a commercial perspective the opportunity to deploy these
channels to promote consumer recruitment and loyalty is very
significant indeed. However, consumer marketing companies will
have to learn to meet the needs of this very discerning and highly
cynical audience by combining the best creative ideas and
strategies with a transformed approach to marketing sales and
service, embodying the best of information and communications
technology, reliably and securely implemented. Communication
networks underpin this report. While teens complain that they
have less public space to hang out in, they are making the online
world their milieu, their domain where they develop personal
relationships and where they play and learn new things. The
conclusions cover not only the effect of current market drivers,
but also emerging trends that will allow brands to better
understand the behaviour of young adults, so as to establish
more truthful binds with them.

Electronic access
The Emerald Research Register for this journal is
available at
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is
available at

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal

Volume 7 Number 2 2004 pp. 153-159
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited ISSN 1352-2752
DOI 10.1108/13522750410530057

Traditionally, teenagers have been nurtured by

companies to cement loyalty so that they will be
valuable customers later. This is because suppliers
perceive teenagers as valuable early adopters. Now
the group is seen as a lucrative market in its own
right, but as interests, consumer choices and a
variety of experiences fracture the demographic,
marketers need to look beyond demographics,
numbers and media speak.
The gap between a product being hyped (i.e. its
popularity is exaggerated by its industry or the
media) and its penetration into the teen market is
bigger than the industry or media suggests. There
are marketers who believe that teenagers aspire to
be young adults, so by default will consume
anything that is trickled down from working
professionals. Wrong. Teenagers are aspirational,
but consumer spending is strongly influenced by
peer group pressure and internally defined values
not flash gadgets. Consumer choice is rich, but
the gadget geek buying the latest wow
innovation is a myth. This is continually proven by
hyped products that are not adopted. The slow
uptake of WAP and the realization that the
industrys sheepish declaration that new MMS
(multimedia messaging service) will dramatically
fall short of forecasts over the next four years is
clear indication. Conversely, low-tech SMS texting
has defined a teen generation.

Why agents of change?

We assigned the word agent to 12-16 year old
teenagers, borrowing from the terminology used in
artificial intelligence development, where agents
are decision-making entities within the software
code developed to take decisions and rapidly create
actions. Teenagers these days are precisely that:
independent entities who, alone and with aligned
peers, create their own rules of engagement and
social behaviour. Overall, in todays society
teenagers are still motivated by the same
aspirations of previous generations: independence,
privacy, ownership, status and peer pressure. The
difference today is the new channels and content
distribution that they use.
The core value of the teen is to communicate
and be heard. While teenagers complain that they
have less and less public spaces to hang-out in, they
are making the online world their milieu, their
domain where they develop personal relationships
with others and get closer to those who they
admire and respect, the realm where they play and
learn new things.

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Agents of change: how young consumers are changing the world of marketing

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal

Ian Spero and Merlin Stone

Volume 7 Number 2 2004 153-159

Brands targeting young adults need to

understand emerging behaviour to get closer to
their target audience to establish more relevant
and credible relationships with them. The main
message of this article is work with them, allow
your brand to harbour their current behaviour,
values and attitudes. Teenagers need to do the
talking, be the messengers not the marketers.

A powerful consumer spending group

Teenagers are a powerful consumer spending
group in their own way, largely uninfluenced by the
very brands that seek to target them.
The youth market is traditionally classified
according to age. Familiar groupings have been 710 (tweens), 11-13 (young teenagers), 14-16
(teenagers), and 16+ (young adults). But, recently
age segmentation has been replaced by less
spurious identifications. This is because age
segmentation ignores everything that differentiates
young people. This, in turn, patronises and turns
off the youth market as marketers presume they
know about these age groups. Instead, young
people are being identified according to the very
lifestyle traits they inhabit interests, behaviour,
social maturity, location, wealth, ethnicity,
upbringing, school, eating habits, gangs, gender
and sexuality. These segments are based on social
factors which prevents spurious statements being
made about teenagers in any select age category.
By using this level of sophistication and diversity,
marketers can paint individual and accurate
pictures of who these young people are.

Beyond demographics, numbers and

media speak
Marketers need to look beyond demographics,
numbers and media speak.
The digital world is the main environment
where agents of change, teenagers, are located.
This is where they play, work, learn and
communicate. It is the arena in which a brand
communicates with its young market. Most
companies, however, under-explore, undervalue
and underrate the digital world. The young are
confronted with patronising, ill-conceived, generic
attempts to engage them. In the valuable youth
market, many brands ignore the benefits that
digital marketing channels offer them. The
following trends highlight what a lucrative, exciting
and ever changing marketplace the digital world
has become.

The digerati: the doers and thinkers who

are at the frontier of the communication
Ever-changing digital marketplace
Teenagers inhabit a lucrative, exciting and everchanging digital marketplace that many brands
ignore the benefits of.
The spending power exerted by teenagers aged
12 to 16 years old is overtaking that of their
parents. They are responsible for a growing
number of household purchases. In the UK, 12 to
16 year olds spend on average 3 billion a year.
Total income of teenagers in Western Europe has
increased 3.9 per cent from e14.7 billion in 1997
to e17.8 billion in 2002 according to Datamonitor
in December 2002. This is a powerful consumer
group spending in their own ways and largely
uninfluenced by the very brands that seek to target
them. Many companies ignore the power of young
money and the influence young people have over
their parents purchasing.

Lifestyle traits
By using the lifestyle traits young people inhabit,
marketers can paint individual and accurate
pictures of who these young people are.
Young people must be emotionally engaged. A
brand will not succeed unless young people
connect with the brand emotionally, allowing them
to trust it. Unless brands allow young people to feel
independent, empowered and free of moral
judgments they will fail to sell to them. A brand
with an emotional difference can potentially
command a premium. To develop an emotional
connection, a brand must allow young people to
interact with it. This is where digital channels
come to the fore. They allow interaction with an
immediacy and vividness that no other channel can
offer. Digital channels are not only a leading
method of interaction. They are also very popular
with young people. One in four young people aged
7 to 16 is estimated to have replaced the television
with the Internet. The digital environment is
where young people feel they can be themselves.
An emotional difference
A brand with an emotional difference can
potentially command a premium.
Young people are increasingly using and
adapting what were the tools of the adult world
(computers, Internet, mobile phones) not only to
interact with their own worlds, but to create and
structure their worlds. While gaming represents
the most extreme example of a tool (computing)
being taken over, the same phenomenon is

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Agents of change: how young consumers are changing the world of marketing

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal

Ian Spero and Merlin Stone

Volume 7 Number 2 2004 153-159

happening to all media. This is because the newer

tools are much more user-changeable than the
older tools (mail, land-line telephone), where all
customers could use them only within rules laid
down by the providing companies. In the case of
young customers, the speed of adaptation is so fast
that it leaves suppliers breathless and often
surprised. Patterns of adaptation mushroom and
then wither away quickly, at a pace which is hard to
understand, while new technologies are picked up
quickly, provided that they observe the basic rules
of economy (not too expensive), adaptability
(quick, easy and cheap to adapt to user needs),
technical pervasiveness (you can use them
anywhere) and market pervasiveness (lots of
people using them and therefore easy to establish
your own network of connection).

The 30-second ad
The 30-second ad on the TV no longer satisfies a
youth sector.
Teenagers multi-task online and are learning to
manage information overload. The 30-second ad
on the TV no longer satisfies a youth sector used to
accumulating and processing data streams.
Leading brands such as Coca-Cola are pulling out
of conventional ads, opting for splintered
advertising across sponsorship, SMS, Internet and
music downloads. The speed at which teenagers
switch from one product to the next will dictate
how online retailers grasp their imagination and
attention. Online retailers need to think about
whether their products will convince consumers
that a switch or upgrade is worthwhile. Unless
companies take heed, teenagers will freely choose
between staying with an existing product,
upgrading with an existing manufacturer, or
migrating to a competitor and they will do this
before existing suppliers can react.

New technologies
New technologies are picked up quickly, provided
that they observe the basic rules of economy,
adaptability, technical pervasiveness, and market
Pre-packaged solutions and singular marketing
strategies do not attract teenagers. Traditional
forms of media are incompatible with teenage
behaviours such as online multi-tasking and
managing vast amounts of information.
Commercial TV viewing has seen a 36 per cent
drop, music and magazine sales have slumped over
the last two years, aided and abetted by music
piracy and income being spent on mobile phone
top-up cards. Key forces that drive these changes
are listed here.

The future of online retailing
The future of online retailing will depend on
payment methods being easy and accessible to
The hype and excitement surrounding
purchasing and using technology has died and a
new attitude of practical realism prevails. Mobile
phones, PDAs, PCs and digital TVs are
increasingly seen as tools to help people get the
most out of day-to-day living. Interactive
technologies are not the playthings of the
specialists. Online retailers should take note of the
current acceptance and expectation teenagers have
towards new technologies. They know it is
everywhere, available in everyday locations.
They should also bear in mind that teenagers are
not excited about technology in the same way
adults are. Teenagers have surpassed the
overwhelming wow factor surrounding

Attention economy
The always on economy is dictated by a new
understanding held by virtually all young people.
They know that technology is omnipresent, which
in turn instills a sense of omniscience. This new
found mindset means teenagers expect and
demand access to technology and information all
the time, from anywhere, and in whatever format
suits their lifestyle. Broadband use in UK
households has risen by 60 per cent over the last six
months, meaning that teenagers are online, for
longer. The omnipresence of virtual space has
meant that teenagers can participate in and switch
off from communities. Creating characters on chat
sites gives them the choice of getting in and out of
roles being visible and invisible to community
members at will. Blogging (logging online
diaries) creates an always on, always out there,
public personae. Online retailers must make their
services ubiquitous in young peoples lives and
seamless engagement with teenagers is the key.
Seamless engagement with teenagers
Online retailers must make their services
ubiquitous in young peoples lives seamless
engagement with teenagers is key.
A total of 89 per cent of UK teenagers have
never made a purchase online, but 29 per cent
research products on the Internet before buying
them at stores according to a market consultancy,
Jupiter Media Matrix Research in September
2001. Limited payment methods have traditionally
hindered teen spending online, although 79 per
cent say that they would shop online and have at
their disposal an income that rises faster than
inflation. From 5 per month two years ago, the

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Agents of change: how young consumers are changing the world of marketing

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal

Ian Spero and Merlin Stone

Volume 7 Number 2 2004 153-159

average income from part-time jobs, pocket money

and pester power is 50. Two in three UK
teenagers have a bank account and payment
methods such as Splash Plastic, and bankers debit
cards, e.g. Solo, are the most popular.
Micropayments can be made via a mobile phone
(particularly successful in magazine SMS clubs
and downloading ringtones and logos), in which
the caller dials a number and is charged for the
product through the cost of the call. Awareness of
money management occurs (and is potentially
misused) at a younger age. E-commerce awards
the teen choice an increased independence. By way
of example, buying customised furnishings for a
3D online apartment in a chat site such as Dubit
Ltd ( are specific to the online
environment and teenagers feel a greater part of
the sites community.
Paybuycash, a new payment system will offer
complete anonymity for teenagers, as a cash card
purchasable anywhere means that teenagers can
spend freely online, with no registration. The
system has been successfully used in adult material
and gambling sites in Hungary in which anonymity
is key and now sees applications being used for the
teen market in the UK. It can flexibly be used to
buy product ringtones, music, games or to
access exclusive digital entertainment services. is a 3D community Web site and is
now the largest community for 11-17 year olds in
the UK. On the back of this success, Dubit is
planning to roll out a debit card.

appropriating language are things teenagers do

best (not marketers). Applications (such as SMS)
and effective interactive strategies (such as viral
marketing) enable teenagers to shape, modify and
spread information. The following are emerging
outcomes which mirror a changing society and

Face to face
Despite the potential of global communication,
teenagers prefer to communicate with local online
communities with a localised language (netspeak: a
hybrid language of the written and spoken word).
This parallels attitudes in the real world, although
teenagers complain that public spaces are
increasingly no-go zones and youth clubs have
faced cutbacks. Evidence suggests that no
technology or application has taken the place of
face-to-face communication. Online retailers need
to consider to what extent they integrate and use
human interfaces, contact and branding within
their proposition. Customers of all ages want
mobility and flexibility through the use of
technology they also want a brand and service
that has a human side to its offering.
Community rules
Between the ages of 12-16, peer group and
individual identity are in development. Peer group
relationships provide the framework through
which teenagers develop self-sufficiency and
independence. Teenagers want to be seen as highly
autonomous individuals, so hijacking cultures and

Applications and effective interactive
Applications and effective interactive strategies
enable teenagers to shape, modify and spread
Teenagers internally define a product or
application, determining its usage and patterns.
Many see this as fashion-led, precarious and
volatile as teenagers have voracious though shortlived appetites for the new. The truth of the matter
is that teenagers push the boundaries of a product
they play with it to the extent where they
highlight the limits of what a product can achieve.
Interactivity of Internet sites for teenagers is far
more advanced in terms of functionality and
accessibility than those designed for adults. This is
because they are developed by and for a generation
that intuitively moves beyond complicated
functionality they use it and tell it how it is.
Smart marketers bring teenagers into the early
stages of a products development and enable the
teen to do the developing.
The early stages of a products development
Smart marketers bring teenagers into the early
stages of a products development and enable the
teen to do the developing.
A total of 70 per cent of UK teenagers said
theyd choose texting over voice messaging, one in
five 13-16 year-olds use phones only for text
messaging. Distinctions between adult and child,
amateur and professional are in the process of
falling apart. Teenagers are becoming the new
authority when it comes to technological knowhow
and applications. The mobile generation, who are
used to mobile communications, omnipresent
Internet access and immediate communication
means, are leaping ahead of older generations.
Despite an ageing population also taking the
Internet by storm, teenagers will push and adapt to
technology far quicker and easier than their older
counterparts. Teenagers today are going to extend
the boundaries of the Internet, mobile technology
and the human-computer relationship. Their level
of technological smartness is symbolised by their
entrepreneurship, imagination and creativity.
They know a hell of a lot more than most adults

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Agents of change: how young consumers are changing the world of marketing

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal

Ian Spero and Merlin Stone

Volume 7 Number 2 2004 153-159

think they do. When todays teenagers become

adults, the information and technology age will
come into full swing. They are therefore an
essential generation for online retailers to
understand, engage and excite.
Young authority
Many companies produce software language so
that teenagers can build new products. Giving over
the tools of the trade enables teenagers to DIY
whilst participating in R&D. Chat sites such as
Habbo Hotel ( and Spero
Communications proprietary platform
due to be launched later this year in partnership
with IBM and BT encourage creative expression.
Teenagers create (and misuse) 3D private virtual
rooms, altering layouts that are influenced by
interests. This also forms the basis for online
retailers to change the concept of personalisation
and customisation. My home page functions on
Web sites need to be fully personalised that
means offering all the tools and facilities that allow
users to build their own environment.
New ways of learning
New ways of learning and self-taught
programming skills transform the teen consumer
to the producer. Rich marketing possibilities now
exist across media. However, teenagers know when
they are being sold to.
Teenagers are much more in control of
accessing, interacting with and digesting
information. Consumer choice is rich. Rich
marketing possibilities now exist across media with
a high level of interactivity and teen ownership and
a low level of top-down control. However,
teenagers know when they are being sold to and
providing the message is relevant, targeted and
perceived as good value, filter out the sales speak.
But the virtual world mirrors the real world and
teenagers are especially at risk. The following
trends outline the key mediums and methods of
information retrieval, infotainment and
recreational activity.

breaks or at night. It reaffirms friendships, has

been seen as a gift-giver, enabling intimacy,
social inclusion and commitment. These rituals
have always been played out, but immediate
access, flexibility and privacy are newfound
considerations associated with the increased use of
text messaging. Text is now integrated with
traditional forms of media. O2, sponsors of Big
Brother 3, said that 6.6 million text messages were
sent into the show; 50 per cent of the total were for
evictions (0.25 per message), 50 per cent were for
ringtones, logos and news updates (1.50 per
Publishing houses such as Emap have set up text
clubs to generate revenue via premium rate phone
calls and to provide readers with an exclusive
service. Text clubs are offering customer databases
to third party brands. Research has revealed that
teenagers often prefer receiving SMS promotional
messages to editorial content. Recent research
shows that 92 per cent of Smash Hits Poptext
members do not mind being targeted for third
party advertising because its seen as a service, not
as an advert, according to a Flytxt independent
survey in August 20028. Text clubs such as Sneaks
or Blisss offer two gossip messages per week
charged at 0.25 per message.

Virtual living

Evolving communities
There are multiple possibilities to participate in
online communities with specialist interests. Key is
peer acceptance and the ability to share interests,
through news groups, chat sites and gaming.
Multi-user games played across the mobile and
MMORPGs are community rich environments in
which team playing underpins the game
experience. The Web is perceived by many
teenagers as virtual and therefore a remote
experience supplying distant interaction with
communities. With the increased use of pervasive
games cross media, communication access from
the Web and the mobile will converge. Peer group
pressure is a key driving force in building and
maintaining communities. Viral Marketing relies
on word of mouth in the virtual and real world to
spread a message and recommend a product. VM
can also be introduced through real characters
on chat sites, or downloadable cult quick-time

Teenagers love to text. SMS has reached saturation
point in the UK, though it shows no signs of
diminishing. Private messaging and the relatively
cheap cost compared with a mobile phone call
have meant that text messaging is an extremely
user-friendly medium. Texting is not primarily
used as a location informer, nor is it exclusively
used remotely. Teenagers text in the classroom, on

The most visited teen sites on the Internet are chat
sites. Chat sites such as U-boot use a hyperpersonal language: Netspeak. It isnt a revolution,
nor will it kill language as is popularly believed
gossip and slang, the craze of speaking backwards
are old performance rituals. The chat room
provides a domain in which written language is

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Agents of change: how young consumers are changing the world of marketing

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal

Ian Spero and Merlin Stone

Volume 7 Number 2 2004 153-159

seen in its most primitive, unedited state.

Conversational content is rich, emotional and peer
driven. In highly graphical, animated sites, such as
Habbo Hotel and Dubit, there are opportunities
for teenagers to cast off fixed identities and
creatively explore new selves. Many of the most
popular sites have e-commerce facilities and saving
opportunities so that money management is learnt
as early as 12 years of age.

to build profile, keep consumers online and on the

site, create loyalty and collate data. Wireless games
company Digital Bridges most successful mobile
game is a Tamagochi-inspired Wireless Pets
(, in which
virtual pet owners must look after their chosen
creatures. Played on a WAP portal, games such as
WP have notched up an equivalent of 136 years
accumulated game play, with 10 million WAP user

Encouraging people to pay

A high-quality product that is available across
multiple services will encourage people to pay.
A total of 38 per cent of teenagers go online to
download music. Sites offering free downloads in
the wake of Napsters collapse in 1999 mean that
piracy, or file-sharing of MP3 downloads is on the
increase. The most popular file-trading
application, Kazaa, has been downloaded by 70
million people worldwide; thousands of pirated
songs are available. Most piracy comes from
Russia and China because its more difficult to
enforce piracy legislation. Research shows that the
slump in CD sales is not only because of teen
spending on mobile phone top-up cards, but also
due to pirated music. A total of 35 per cent of
teenagers said they would download a song for
free, whilst only 10 per cent said that they would
buy the album, according to the Recording
Industry Association of America survey in August
2002. Teenagers download music, burn CDs, then
pass or sell them on. Sony Music, AOL Time
Warner and EMI Group are trying to win users
over to subscription-based services, but are failing
to attract mass appeal. Industry believes that a high
quality product that is available across multiple
services will encourage people to pay.
Many disagree and believe piracy is here to stay,
typified by US collective Freenet who guarantee
user anonymity, making prosecution of the
organisers difficult. In the world of wired and
wireless, digital media the ability to create,
manage and distribute digital content to virtually
any media is quickly becoming the industry
standard for retail and entertainment enterprises.
As more consumers turn to the Internet as a
primary source for music and other lifestyle related
media, brands are exploring new ways to distribute
content directly to consumers in their homes,
safely and efficiently.
Games are increasingly seen as a value-added
benefit to brands. The games industry is valued at
$17.6 billion more than any other entertainment
Games on sites such as Tango (
and Nike ( use brands

Changing environments
Desk-top ICT
Desk-top ICT (information and communication
technology) integration within UK schools is
growing rapidly.
As space within the real world becomes
constrained and controlled by private and
institutional interests, the bedroom is increasingly
an evolutionary microworld for the teen The messy
out-of bounds bedroom may be just as messy, but
it is evolving into a fully kitted infotainment zone
with multi-channel TV, PCs, CD burners, iPods
and Internet access. This allows most teenagers to
surf, channel hop, text and e-mail from the
comfort of their bed. It is common knowledge that
teenagers rule the roost when it comes to
understanding and adapting quickly to new
technologies. Hence, when the teenagers of today
become the adults of tomorrow, the ubiquitous
technology they have grown up with, will spill over
and populate the home. Adults of tomorrow will
push the boundaries of technology usage.
They will have the confidence, the necessity and
skill to assimilate mundane tasks with high-tech
gadgetry. Online retailers should harness how
teenagers integrate convergent technologies, and
target the bedroom as an exemplary case of how
best to channel multi medium entertainment.

The digital playground

Contact with the youth via education
A total of 80 per cent of teachers are now confident
in their use of ICT, targeted and measurable
contact with the youth via education is no longer a
myth but a certain reality.
Viral marketing has always had a hidden place in
the playgrounds of schools as youths seek to gain
credibility with their friends. Indeed the
playground has often been the place where their
choices are formed because of the contact that they
have with friends. Businesses are aware of this
lucrative playing field. With the governments

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Agents of change: how young consumers are changing the world of marketing

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal

Ian Spero and Merlin Stone

Volume 7 Number 2 2004 153-159

investment for reform and commitment to

radical reform of the education system, business is
not just being invited into schools, in some cases
they are running schools. This new
commercialism will bring the youth closer to
retailers, brands and their products far more than
ever before. With this change comes opportunity,
but with opportunity comes responsibility. Any
engagement must manage the brand reputation
whilst enhancing the education process. This
education is giving birth to a new generation and
breed of young digital consumers with high
expectations and the technical knowledge and
skills to expect a more engaging digital experience.
If companies are not aligned and in touch with
education their products may well be left to gather
dust on the shelf.

Personalised data that is sent by MMS will

include video clips, photos and text. Kodak is
experimenting with a service that will let users
send televised digital photos to friends and
relatives. UK teenagers have stressed a desire for
data to be stored as memories: a diary told in text,
image and video and stored separately from the
phone. Whilst this functions the same as the family
album or diary, ways of reading multimedia
memory will transform the way that the past and
the present is experienced. Online retailers will
have their job cut out when attempting to deliver
intimate data. Once again, using this trend
depends on intimate data about the end user, and
the proposed service or product.

Future impact
Turning content into revenue
The possibilities of turning content into revenue
will become a reality.
The information highway, as well as fluid
communication networks, will become ever more
sophisticated and charge tariffs applied according
to the perceived value of information. Public and
private forms of content will be intertwined;
privacy will be a commodity to be bought and sold.
Targeted solutions and value-added benefits
Applications that provide targeted solutions and
value-added benefits will increase.
With saturation of hand-held phones and slow
uptake of new MMS phones, funky applications
that provide targeted solutions and value-added
benefits to the teen market (such as Java
programming on mobile phones for gaming), will
increase. Online retailers can apply this trend as
applications, data and content will prevail beyond
Reading multimedia memory
Ways of reading multimedia memory will
transform the way that the past and present is

The benefits of collaboration

Engineers and designers still largely believe that
products trickled down from young professionals
to teenagers are the result of lower tariffs and cool
marketing. But teenagers wont buy product that
doesnt fit into or enhance lifestyle. In the USA,
mobile phone uptake has been slower than in
Europe primarily because the tool is associated
with parents. Engineers and developers who are
inviting youngsters into early R&D stages,
particularly issuing middleware programming
tools, recognise valuable teenage input. The more
collaborative and open-ended the market, the
more likely is the adoption of technology.
We live in evolutionary times. Teenagers are well
positioned to be the agents of change
manoeuvering from a Net-savvy generation to
shaping a mobile lifestyle with relative ease.
Remote learning, GPS systems and the shifting
nature of environments will also mean that virtual
and real space become interchangeable.
Online retailers need to move into a market
niche concerned with continuous and seamless
cross platform media. However, retailers will not
only have to adapt to subtle shifts in the way people
interact and negotiate space, but will also have to
learn to understand the lifestyles and mindsets of
end users, before they enter their private
headspace. If retailers position and design their
applications correctly, sensitive to teenagers
demands, idiosyncrasies and creative ideals, they
will ultimately succeed.

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