Why Are Teenagers So Brand Conscious?

Sep 14, 2015
Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Research, Purchase Decisions, Video Resource

From PBS Newshour (hat tip to Big Picture Blog):

What does it mean to be cool? It’s a means of standing out, as well as a way of fitting in. In studying the brain, economists have found that when we consume products from status brands, it actually gives us a way to create social networks, friendships, alliances. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

Here are some questions for your students to ponder as they watch the 8 minute video:

  • What part of our brain is activated when looking at advertising of status brands?
  • How do various car companies market themselves to consumers?
  • How has the idea of coolness changed since the 1950s?
  • How did Apple market themselves in 1984 to their major competitor, IBM?
  • Do you agree/disagree with the two people who felt that owning a brand doesn’t say anything about them?
  • What brands are considered cool for teenagers?

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.