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KFC, Pepsi, Adidas and Nokia. These are a few of their favourite things…

KFC, Pepsi, Adidas and Nokia. These are a few of their favourite things…

Sidra Tariq gets down with the kids as she wades through AMRB data on what brands teens in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE prefer.

July 19, 2011 3:44 by


According to a report by AMRB, “MENA teens love brands that enhance their style statement, give them a perfect identity and differentiate them from the rest… UAE teens’ favorite brand choices depict their lifestyle – young, iconic, global/western, premium, fashionable, sporty, cutting-edge technology, gizmos, racy, fast-food. An international curriculum-driven education and western media could also be influencing their choices. They look for brands which are innovative, exciting and well designed.”

“For KSA and Egyptian teens, the sense of involvement with their favorite brands is a lot higher because these brands depict their internal aspirations – bolder, fun, enjoy with lesser restrictions than at present and live a better lifestyle than current. They look for good quality and innovativeness in the brands,” the report adds.

Bamane reiterates that teens in Egypt don’t have much spending power, but says their “optimism” to spend it is the highest among the youth in all three countries. “They probably do not have the money as of now, or the opportunities, but sooner or later they are sure when they get it, they are going to grab it as it comes.”

Bhalla adds that it is important to remember that teens in this region aren’t very different from teens in the rest of the world. “They aspire to have the same kinds of gadgets or own the same kinds of brands, or do the same things that teens anywhere in the world might want to do.”

“But there is also the reality that they are living in a culture which is much more traditional, more conservative and so on,” he says. “Somewhere they are looking for this balance between their global aspirations and their local identity; and brands that can help them find that balance, are what they are really looking out for.

“There is a term that we have used, called “brand bridge,” which basically means global brands cannot come into developing markets as conquering heroes,” says Bhalla.

“They need to come in, they need to understand the local culture and local sensitivities and adapt themselves to those markets, and only then will they find acceptance with the local population. And that is what some of these [popular] brands have been able to do. They have been able to bridge their Western backgrounds, their Western origins, and build bridges with the local culture and the local sensitivities. That is really important.”

This article was originally published on Communicate, July/August 2011.

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1 Comment

  1. MK on July 20, 2011 11:38 am

    this is sad and alarming…enter ‘fast food nation’, the sequel!


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