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Fresh perspectives on youth
Fall 2010
Think young
Kids these days... they adopt new tastes and tech apps as easily as they ink a new tattoo. Along with deciding which friends to follow, they also face the same harsh economic challenges as the rest of us (though social media may give them an edge).
If you're already focused on youth culture, you know the challenge of keeping up. If you don't think that youth is your target, you may want to reconsider -- the over 30 million teens in the U.S. are not only setting trends but broadcasting them widely and wildly, with adults latching on to more than a few (those of you who've got Guitar Hero on your iPhone know what we mean).
People, culture and change. It's what we at Cheskin Added Value are passionate about and clearly youth culture is where change is wicked hot. In this issue of Fresh Perspectives, we've highlighted some areas to keep an eye on -- cultural blending and the new mainstream, tech and natural interfaces, food trends, and trend migration. And we added some frameworks to help you put it in perspective.
Rock on!
baby with iphoneTechCTO * 
Any parent who has watched their toddler scroll through photos on an iPhone knows that there is no barrier between youth and technology; they stick together like peanut butter and jelly.
Teens entering college this month were probably playing with the buttons on a handheld device before they could walk. To them, online privacy has always been a threat but hardly an issue. 75% of teens have a cell phone and on average, send 112 texts a day.
In his blog on digital interface innovation, CheskinAV EVP Lee Shupp looks at what teens may be adopting next. And Jenny Branstetter investigates the social repercussions of too much online interaction.
*Check This Out
CultureCulturally cool: the new young mainstream  
Hispanic teenEthnic culture isn't just shaping the identities of bi-cultural youth, it's influencing mainstream youth culture across the U.S. in fashion, food and even family. 
As you read the numbers on tech usage or buy into the "new mainstream" mantra, don't forget that there are still formidable subsegments and a one-size-fits-all strategy may not fit all.
Lyle Personette shows one example of why understanding context when evaluating data on the Digital Divide is critical.
Miguel Gomez Winebrenner's blog gives a nod to our earlier Hispanic teen study, Nuestro Futuro, and highlights the influence of intracultural youth on an emerging agency trend while noting the risks that agencies and brand managers need to watch out for.
MigrationMom, have you seen my shirt? 
mom and daughterMany of you have seen the recent TV spot where a mother "borrows" her daughter's green shirt to go out dancing. We've long seen fashion trends move from edgy teen closets into their parents wardrobes, though lately the crossover is picking up pace as Chris Finlay points out in his recent blog featuring Silly Bandz.
It's not only fashion however that's migrating across lifestages -- technology use behaviors and media content like Twilight are also crossing over. Is there a reliable way to predict which trends will make the leap? Lee Shupp offers some frameworks to help clear up the mystery.
FoodWhat's for dinner? 
kids cookingChildhood obesity and kids nutrition continues to make headlines. Safeway Inc. just announced that $4 million from its eScript program will go toward kids fitness and nutrition activities. McDonald's is feeling the pain as Happy Meal backlash threatens one of their most iconic menu items.
Added Value recently released the results of research for UK retailer Sainsbury's on home cooking attitudes and the barriers to cooking and healthy eating among children and teens. As Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign gains momentum, F&B brands will certinaly be feeling more pressure to create healthier solutions.
What we're up to 
Darrel Rhea is speaking on Design and Government at the Helsinki Design Lab Global Conference September 1st, and is in London September 6th presenting a DMI Master Class on Design Reserch and Customer-Driven Innovation.
SXSW Panel PickerLee Shupp's presentation on People as Peripherals:The future of gesture interface is collecting votes on the SWSX Panel Picker. Please lend your support by giving it a thumbs up!
In This Issue
Culturally cool
Mom, have you seen my shirt?
What's for dinner?
What we're up to
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Cheskin Added Value is a consulting firm that guides innovation through a deep understanding of people, cultures and change. From a perspective grounded in research, design and marketing, we help companies identify new markets, develop new products and services, and enhance brand experience.
For more of our perspective, visit our weblog or give us a call at 650.802.2100.
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