Sunday, 13 June 2010

A mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world

I've heard the same theme from a number of reliable sources over the last few weeks: when it comes to young people, in Germany at least, the dream is not sex and drugs and rock 'n roll, but rather more conservative, "grown-up" values.

It does make sense: a generation that has grown up with such a high level of insecurity not just in the world outside but right close to them at home is not going to hanker after risk and adventure.

In the long-lost days of my youth, the fear was that you'd become old, boring or an accountant. And my generation is still hanging on to that dream in its mutton-dressed-as-lamb clothing and attitudes. But when the real fear is to spiral down into unemployment, poverty and failure, it's no wonder that 16-24 year olds today seek out the sensible, the secure, the stable.

And brands can play a role in this. But more by providing a real added value service or product that people can rely on over time rather than some 40-year-old's idea of a "totally awesome app" that's plugged in today and chucked out tomorrow.

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