What's in a name? A new report from Forrester Research Inc. says the answer to that question for young consumers is "not much." Teens use the Net for everything from communication to financial management, and are online at least 10 hours a week - that's three hours more than the adult average.
The study says that certain brands do not need mass-appeal sites, and should direct their online efforts more toward banner advertising and sponsorships. Brands that depend on heavy Internet traffic for sales should focus on functionality and utility when it comes to young consumers. Forrester cites Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut, and Nike as examples of brands that do not generate high traffic to their Websites, indicating that brand leadership does not necessarily translate into the most clicks. In this situation, companies are advised to establish an online presence using means other than a Website.
The study also reveals that consumer packaged goods are among the kinds of companies that don't have as much of a need for proprietary sites, since their prices are low, and sales occur frequently - often impulsively. The industries most in need? Technology, online retailers, travel, financial services, and automotive.
So what are the favorite site features of young consumers? Quick loading, ease of use, cutting-edge technology, rich audio, animation, and video.