The New Generation Consumers of Thailand

A recent survey done by a top advertising agency in Thailand has shown that young consumers are ready to embrace new trends and technology, but can be careful spenders and want all their purchases to be successful. This study, named Generation Asia, was conducted to understand the change in consumers’ attitude and behavior in several fields such as automobiles, beauty, communication, education, entertainment, fashion, money, food, health, kids, luxury, and so on. In Thailand, the online survey had 1,500 respondents aged between 18 and 35. The key findings showed that the new generation consumers can be divided into five groups: Ambitious Achievers, Confident Providers, Zesty Lifers, Social Strivers and Reserved Dreamers.

go shopping
Spending money on shopping

Here’s a closer look at each group to know more about their Internet and mobile phone usage habits, spending habits and general outlook in different aspects of life.

Ambitious Achievers

The people in this particular group prefer to be leaders, are quick in adapting new trends and want to be seen as successful. Most are single and are working as managers for top companies. A few are newly married and are yet to have their first child. They make up 27% of those who answered the survey.

Men in this category have no qualms about trying skin care products to improve their appearance. Products specifically created for men such as those produced by L’Oreal and Ponds are now immensely popular among young Thai men ages 18 to 28, and soon it is predicted that they will be using BB and CC creams, as seen in young men in South Korea today. Established brands are not the only ones marking their territory in Thai men’s skin care. During the last two years, there has been an increase in the number of premium brands in the market, such as SK II Men, with serums and creams going for at least $100 a pop. Apart from good marketing strategies, the sudden increase of male bloggers are now educating Thai men about skin care and cosmetics, and for Ambitious Achievers, success often comes hand in hand with being attractive.

Tuktuk vehicle

As for automobiles, those who are aiming for the top prefer to drive a BMW or a Porsche. There has also been a preference for vintage vehicles among the elite, and soon, more of these types of vehicles will be joining the tuktuks in the streets of Bangkok.

The Thai corporate set nowadays favor clothes from Giorgio Armani, Prada and Michael Kors, with ladies accessorizing their swanky threads with Louis Vuitton or Gucci handbags. Famous Thai designers such as Thakoon Panichgul and Koi Suwannagate also have a loyal following in this group.

A lot of Ambitious Achievers prefer to use an iPhone, and the newer the model, the better. They also prefer to subscribe to postpaid plans and they’d rather call than text. They use Facebook and Twitter for networking and marketing purposes.

Confident Providers

Confident Providers are made up mostly of young parents aged 25 to 35, with one to three children. They make up 26% of the responders and they are very responsible. Majority of them made plans for their family’s security, are reasonable spenders, and are ready to pay more for better quality products and services.

Married couples in this category are both holding jobs or own a business, and they can afford to send their children to top schools. They regularly travel, are insured, and have at least two savings accounts. Singles prefer to help their families while saving up for their own insurance policies, and regularly treat themselves to vacations in nearby countries. The people in this group also make it a point to learn as much as possible, signing up for seminars or workshops to improve or learn a life skill, such as investing or personality development seminars or parenting workshops.

banana republic
Banana Republic store

Confident Providers are more frugal when it comes to purchasing clothing and cosmetics, opting to purchase good quality products from trusted brands over flashier, logo-strewn wares. They would rather buy jeans and other basic clothing from stores like The Gap or Banana Republic than from luxury brands.

They often use social media networks to keep their family and friends posted on their lives, so their Facebook accounts are updated regularly with recent photos of the kids and of vacation pictures. Instagram is a favorite as well, as many Confident Providers have mastered the art of taking beautiful photos and sharing them on this site. When it comes to mobile phone usage, they prefer to get family plans, and the whole family is equipped with at least one gadget, down to the youngest member of the brood.

Zesty Lifers

Zesty Lifers accounted for 20 percent of the respondents. People in this group enjoy their lifestyles and take pride in being trendy and fashionable. This group is mostly made up of new graduates who have just joined the work force and are enjoying their newfound capability to make money and enjoy it. In short, they work hard, and play hard.

Hitler shirts

Zesty Lifers are constantly in the thick of things, and they avidly follow the current fashion, blogger, or latest “it” thing. They will often be the ones to start a new trend, such as the infamous Hitler shirts that were worn by teens in Bangkok about two years ago. They gravitate towards trendy fashion brands such as Forever 21, Topshop, Mango, Aeropostale and Zara.

They are the ones who are crowding the coffee shops and latest restaurants, blogging/ Instagramming/ Tweeting on a daily basis. They often use social media to share pictures of appealing dishes that they’re about to have and upload them immediately before consuming them. This helps a lot of restaurants as this becomes free publicity for them, and helps promote Thai cuisine which makes foreigners want to try them.

They absolutely cannot live without the internet and have to be connected for the most part of the day. When subscribing to mobile apps, they tend to pick those that will let them download the newest tunes, hottest news, and ensure that they have access to messenger apps so that they can stay in touch with their friends. When it comes to gadgets, only name-brand gadgets will do, such as Apple products or those from Samsung or Nokia.

Social Strivers

Social Strivers account for 15 percent of the respondents. People in this category are worried and frustrated about the hurdles in life and continue striving for more security. This group is made out of people between the ages of 18 and 24, and most of them do not have regular jobs or are still on an entry level position. Some of them are unemployed.

Social Strivers normally think about the welfare of their family or securing their future before anything else, and though they may long for the pleasure of shopping whenever they want to do so, they would prioritize putting food on the table than going on a spending spree. Most respondents were open to getting more education about investing their money wisely and are mostly optimistic about their future.

This group is very frugal when it comes to mobile phone expenses, thus opting for prepaid plans. Though they’re not very particular with regards to the brand or model of their mobile phone, the one thing that they make sure before buying a phone or a gadget is that it should be well made and built to last.

Reserved Dreamers

Reserved Dreamers comprises about 13 percent of the respondents, and they spend more time online to avoid boredom. They prefer to make their presence known online than go out and mingle with other people. These are the people who are avid online gamers, and they prefer to work from home or have online jobs with minimal to no interaction with other people.

online game
Online gamer

This group will spend money on the latest computer equipment and fast internet access than on anything else. They are also very tech savvy and would invest in the latest paid apps or games on their mobile phones or gadgets.

Overall, the future is bright for the new generation consumers of Thailand. Though they have different priorities and spending habits, all of them contribute to the technological and economic growth of the country. With all the changes that go on in Thai society, the youth will always have choices made available to them—it’s just a matter of making the right choices to secure their future as individuals, and their destiny as a nation.

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