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Youths Influence Electronics Purchasing

12 Aug, 2002 By: Hive News

Students, including teens and young adults, have the real power to decide which consumer electronics brands to buy when heading back to school, according to a survey by InsightExpress, an online market research company.

"More than ever before, the buying power for electronic devices belongs to students," said Lee Smith, president of InsightExpress. "Our survey found that not only are teens and young adults calling the shots on brands, but nearly 40 percent of students said they were going to pay for products themselves. Marketers need to understand these facts as they try to capitalize on back-to-school shopping."

What are students looking for? While 9 out of 10 students already own or have access to a computer, nearly 1 in 4 are looking for a new one. Nearly half of those students cite "making school easier" while only 16 percent stated "getting better grades" as the motivation for looking for a new computer.

"Smart companies like Dell and Gateway recognize the influence and purchasing power of students. They have tailored their messages, campaigns, and advertising channels specifically to this audience," said Smith.

Participating students indicate they learn about electronics from a wide variety of sources including: friends (66 percent), the Internet (65 percent), television (65 percent), magazines (50 percent), and schools (38 percent). Nearly 2 in 5 students (38 percent) attend schools that recommend a specific brand of home computer. The brands most recommended by schools are Dell (32 percent), Apple (16 percent), Gateway (15 percent) and Compaq (13 percent).

What else do students want as they head back to school? The answer lies more in lifestyle than academics. To keep in touch with friends, students would like to purchase cell phones (35 percent) and pagers (18 percent). For entertainment, students seek digital cameras (33 percent) and MP3 players (30 percent).

"It's not too late for companies to understand and capture the minds and wallets of students. Understanding the motivations of students is critical to driving sales during this year's back-to-school season," said Smith.

The survey was conducted online more than 300 students in late July 2002. The data has a tolerance of +/-5.6 percent.

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