Young consumers are extremely adaptive in their behaviour. They listen to their surroundings, social networks, media, celebrities ect, and learn how to consume. What other say is authentic and real is perceived as authentic. It is the social construction of real that is incorporated in their identity and their actions.
I never read the newspapers any more, why should I… so boring and uninteresting. But every day, several times actually, I read my favourite blogs. Only girls writing about what to wear, and what to buy … I know, it’s shallow but it’s so fun. Look here, today I saw that Blondinbella [a popular blog in Sweden] wrote about those pair of jeans [she shows a picture of jeans] and how authentic they are in US … for example, Paris Hilton have several pairs. Hope I found them today. (Elin 22 years out shopping)
To give a perception that consumers think they have taste by virtue of the fact that they are consuming something associated with good taste. Sometimes this perception is the only thing that the consumers experience as different!
Anna is surrounded by the ‘right’ brands, her clothing, her cosmetics and her technology. She puts the cosmetics in the room so all friends can see her good taste. She likes to hold her mobile phone in her hand instead of in her bag. “When I have it like this everyone can see that I have an iPhone, I mean, it’s important for me”. Her struggle with her parents to get an iPhone was not that hard, Anna only said the old magic words “everyone else has one”. (Anna 17 years)
The “symbolic creators”, describing those who make up, interpret or rework stories, songs, images, can by using the imagined and shifting perceptions of authenticity create a new authenticity out of a brand – to play with norms but totally related to the wanted target group. We do not need to assume shared understanding or shared frames of reference in any act of communication and/or consumption. All we need, and may assume, is that there are rough structures of equivalence between creators and consumers. It is all about being in the known with the consumers.