"We felt very strongly that Generation X had gone very rapidly from being overlooked to oversimplified and we wanted to do something about that," said Ann Clurman, partner in Yankelovich Partners, Norwalk, Conn. The research consultancy's new business unit (AA, Nov. 21), Yankelovich Youth, is committed to investigating consumers younger than 35.
Yankelovich has been studying the powerful market since the late 1960s, but decided client interest in information about young consumers made it the right time for a dedicated unit of researchers.
The unit will concentrate solely on youth and provide syndicated and multisponsored youth research, exploring complex issues like brand equity. Yankelovich sees the new arm as a possible step toward moving into more segmented business units dedicated to specific markets.
Ms. Clurman, who heads Yankelovich Youth, said one top manager in the research consultancy referred to the new unit as "`a really great example of how we should do more of our research."'
Youth market research has been in high demand by marketers longing to reach this misunderstood segment. Yankelovich Youth will examine youth brand loyalty and spending, and will study the values of Generation X.
The unit's potential clients include beverage marketers, youth retailers, entertainment companies and fast-food businesses.
Several research companies are in the business of youth research. Simmons Market Research Bureau, New York, does an annual teen-age study. There are even companies like Teenage Research Unlimited, Northbrook, Ill., that are dedicated to such research.
Yankelovich already has two products that study the youth market-the Yankelovich Monitor, which studies adults 16 and older, and Nickelodeon-Yankelovich Youth Monitor, which expands into the kids market beginning at age 6.