NEW YORK, March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study has discovered that a key market demographic -- teenage girls -- is still driving profit, despite the grinding recession, in ways that almost no one had imagined. Euro RSCG Worldwide PR today released its much-anticipated white paper "The Teenage Girl as Consumer and Communicator," which reveals that the teenage girl contradicts almost all cultural stereotypes related to spending and communication. With all teens spending more than $200 billion each year, this watershed study on teen girls represents a critical step for brands that want to reach this little-understood demographic group.
The Euro RSCG white paper, based on a survey in November 2009 by MicroDialogue that the PR agency commissioned of the spending and communications habits of 100 girls between the ages of 13 and 18, shows teen girls as careful spenders who communicate with laserlike focus.
According to this study, a full 71 percent of teen girls go online not to browse aimlessly, but for a very targeted purpose: to maintain existing friendships. The trend extends into their behavior as consumers. Although cultural stereotypes paint them as spending wildly according to trends, teen girls are actually patient and value-minded, with more than 60 percent of them generally waiting for items to go on sale before making a purchase; 77 percent are more likely to buy a sale-priced item than one at full price.
But the core finding of the white paper is more sociological than statistical. Tearing down another false platitude about teenage girls, the paper proves that a sense of intimacy with a select group of friends and family drives almost all their social interaction -- including shopping, which the study characterizes as a core social activity for teenage girls.
The findings are helping to launch a new Euro RSCG Worldwide PR initiative. Eventually focusing on teen boys and girls, the first phase will be called The Sisterhood and be headed up by Marian Salzman, president of Euro PR, North America, and Karina Meckel, the company's newly appointed director of strategic planning. Allison Pinter will be the initiative's brand manager. As a specialized agency within an agency, The Sisterhood will provide public relations for brands, products and people seeking to reach the vastly important but complex teenage demographic.
"Teenage girls represent an awesome consumer force, buying, spending, trendspotting and trendsetting," said Salzman, who has been studying the habits of this demographic for nearly two decades. "They are unique in virtually every aspect of their consumption behavior. From the way they watch ads to the way they purchase products to the way -- most critically -- they discuss the products they purchase, they buy and spend in an almost ritualistic manner. And because their generation is perhaps the first fully 'wired' one, their habits will determine how relevant markets develop today and in the future."
"Marketers can no longer afford to ignore the intricacies of this powerful group of consumers," says Meckel. "This generation of girls will be responsible for revolutionizing not only how brands communicate but also the entire shopping experience. I can think of no more important group for marketers to understand today."
Among other critical findings of "The Teenage Girl as Consumer and Communicator" white paper are:
- Seventy-eight percent of teenage girls use social media to keep in touch with friends, while three-quarters report being in "constant contact" with friends through texting, Facebook, iChat, AIM or other social media services.
- They show a clear preference for approaching a brand to find out about sales and promotions rather than having the brand approach them. Almost 40 percent sign up for e-mails from their favorite brands to hear about sales and promotions; just 28 percent browse and subscribe to newsletters for similar information.
- Shopping with her best friend or sister, a teen girl will spend 23 percent more money than when shopping with two or more friends. Shopping with a boy, she will spend only 43 percent of what she spends with her close friend or sister.
- Sixty-five percent say when their favorite brand or store has a sale, they want to share the information with their best friend or sister, and 57 percent say when they discover a new brand or trend, they tell a best friend or sister. Significantly, about 80 percent prefer one-to-one communication (texting or phone calls) over "broadcast" platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Fifty-nine percent say maintaining a unique personal style is important to them -- approximately double the number of girls who like to follow the same trends and adopt the same styles as their friends. Forty-three percent are influenced by the style of celebrities and just 26 percent by "cool" girls at school.
To see key takeaways for brands and marketers, plus the entire white paper and a blog featuring posts from both teen girls and marketing professionals, go to The Sisterhood's new website, Forsistersbysisters.com.
About Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
Euro RSCG Worldwide PR is the public relations arm of Euro RSCG Worldwide. Its practice areas include business-to-business, consumer, corporate communications, health care, social media and technology. Digital is positioned at the core of all its offerings, and the agency is a longtime leader in cause marketing and corporate social responsibility. The North American division is the second largest in the Euro RSCG Worldwide PR network after France and has a presence across the United States. For more information, visit eurorscgpr.com.
Euro RSCG Worldwide PR
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