Article (link): The Breakdown of Tribal Borders

Flickr Photo Download: The Breakdown of Tribal Borders (MEDIA Magazine)
(via @NeochaEDGE)

The article above discusses insights into the failures of marketing efforts targeting China’s Youth, and recommendations moving forward. Finally, hard numbers to prove that youth don’t have to belong to one tribe. In fact, the study cited in the article above suggests that Chinese youth dip in and out of a number of different sub-cultural tribes simultaneously.

I don’t believe this is a trend unique to China, or even Asia. It’s clear there a number of differences between Chinese and western Gen Ys, but this isn’t one of them. And I’d be interested to see the results of the same study in Western cultures.

The idea that the desires of youths in Asia can be defined (and understood) by association with a single sub-cultural niche is an example of the same tarring rampant amongst marketers trying to take advantage of “hipster” culture the world over.

What are your feelings on the ideas put forward in the article? Please post links to other related articles and studies.

  • akak

    Chinese youth tribes are worth researching since the adolescent young are keen on searching/withstanding an identity of their own and more likely to fall in with the crowd. There is always a mass psychological reason behind a successful brand that tells the desire or demand of the certain generation. And that also affects fashion industry…etc. Converse is an example of youth’s desire for comforty and sporty, both women and men. And Huili, for example, reflects a preference of chinese local style and renewal of classic sportswear.

  • http://Website akak

    Chinese youth tribes are worth researching since the adolescent young are keen on searching/withstanding an identity of their own and more likely to fall in with the crowd. There is always a mass psychological reason behind a successful brand that tells the desire or demand of the certain generation. And that also affects fashion industry…etc. Converse is an example of youth’s desire for comforty and sporty, both women and men. And Huili, for example, reflects a preference of chinese local style and renewal of classic sportswear.

  • http://pitythecool.com Andy

    Thanks for your input akak.

    I agree with you that adolescents are worth researching. There is endless research that can be done on this group, especially due to the pace at which the sub-cultures they're associated with change and move.

    Do you think successful brands create the “mass psychological” desire of a generation or feed off it?

    My feeling is that it's mixed. The most intuitive and insightful brands identify (through a tonne of research and a team who 'get it') discrete patterns of behaviour that have the potential to be recontextualised for a broader appeal. An increasing number of brands begin to tap into the given trend — in a similar pattern to the consumer trend adoption graph — until it's commercially baron.

    Thanks for the two examples. I'll look-up Huili as I haven't heard of that one.

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