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Posts from June 2015

BRIC consumers travel to learn and discover

Posted on  8 June 15  by 

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by Sumaa Tekur

Educated urban consumers in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are increasingly traveling not just for rest and relaxation but cultural exploration and learning. For these busy, curious middle-class explorers, travel is about more than taking time off from the daily routine; it empowers them, challenges their mind and exposes them to Cultural FusionSM.

Urban Indians eager to explore the culture and beauty of India’s hinterland are attending arts festivals and folk fairs in far-off villages, signing up for vintage car rallies, and experiencing rural tourism by driving off the beaten track. These Culture Travellers are curating their travel experiences to take them beyond travel brochures to reconnect with local cultural pride.

Midlifers from Brazilian cities may be tied to work and family responsibilities, but they’re also prioritizing self-growth through travel. These consumers are going on solo vacations to carve out some me-time. Singles’ travel packages are popular with not just singles but also married and coupled midlifers in Brazil who enjoy taking time out to explore their interests. While Alone on the Road, they can meet people and prioritize their own needs without worrying about other responsibilities.

For urban, educated Russians, the leisure of travel is in the learning. Travel companies in Russia are improving on standard package tours by including subject experts who will pepper the journey with their knowledge of the arts, literature and culture.

Young Chinese travel enthusiasts find the packaged tours sold by travel agencies too formulaic for their evolved tastes. Routine tourist spots and common shopping destinations hold little appeal for travelers who prefer experiences that open up their senses to the arts and culture of a place. These consumers are using online tools to customize their travel and create an itinerary that suits their interests. They’re often called Super Tourists and like to combine adventure and nature.

Empowered Gen We teens are still growing up

Posted on  2 June 15  by 

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by Nissa Hanna and Melissa Minkow

Today, teen stars tend to originate in the YouTube universe, but Tavi Gevinson is one of the first self-made Gen We celebs who got her start as a fashion blogger, with Style Rookie in 2008. And while some video stars have already faded, Gevinson’s trajectory continues to be bright —having segued to heading up an online and print magazine (Rookie) and acting (a role in a Julia Louis-Dreyfus flick and a part in a Broadway production).

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Gevinson (now 19) is on a summer 2015 bookstore tour to promote the latest issue of the print mag, titled “Yearbook,” and to conduct meet-and-greets with her teenage fans (an essential activity for a Gen We audience that forms close-feeling relationships with their online idols but still deeply desires opportunities to connect with them IRL).

We caught up with the Yearbook tour at a stop in a Minneapolis suburb in late May — seeing it as a unique opportunity to observe the interaction between a self-made star and her fans, and as a chance to hear teen girls say what’s on their minds. A whole hour was dedicated to answering questions (mainly from 15- to 18-year-old girls).

A couple of the questions underscored how the demographic is facing the unique challenge of growing up empowered. For as much as they’re capable of starting companies and creating fully functional and affordable Braille printers out of Legos, they’re still kids. They have to figure out who they are, how they fit in and what comes next. One girl asked how Gevinson takes herself seriously since she’s so young. This girl explained that she’s the same age as Tavi and she feels really smart and competent, but she struggles with feeling like her opinions are valid due to her age. Another girl asked if growing up scares Gevinson.

It’s important for marketers to understand that this generation of teens is enabled by tech resources and the support of grown-ups, which fosters the significant sense that their voices and ideas matter. But it’s also key for marketers to remember that members of Gen We are still vulnerable, growing up and in flux.