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Young people queuing up at the entrace to Aeon mall’s parking lot.
Young people queuing up at the entrace to Aeon mall’s parking lot. Hong Menea

Millennials seek unique experiences

Brand loyalty is a relatively weak concept among young Cambodian consumers, who are more preoccupied with searching out new shops, brands and products that provide a personalised experience, according to a new study by global market research firm Kantar TNS.

The 2017 Consumer Trends Millennial report, which broadly tracks consumer habits for those born from the mid 1980s through 2000, describes Cambodian millennials as being in the “full exploration or experimentation mode” when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

The report noted that this trend was largely propelled by access to Facebook and YouTube, which helped define what was popular or worth trying.

The firm said it had observed eight predominant trends among millennials compared to the previous generation, categorising them as value hunters, explorers, me consumers, digital social-“ists”, food is fashion, self-elevation, entrepreneurs and change makers. It added that in general Cambodian youth were less careful and more confident consumers than their elders.

In order to capture this burgeoning segment of a new spendthrift population, Chem Srey Oeun, qualitative research manager at Kantar TNS Cambodia, said brands need to focus on creating unique experiences that can help individuals differentiate themselves from their peers.

“What we have observed is that while there is low brand loyalty when it comes to traditional consumer products or restaurants, Cambodians are seeking out products that provide experiences and that create a personal identity that they believe defines themselves,” she said.

She added that branding is not all about the latest and greatest, but what “feels authentic” and “unique” and is seen as having a positive social impact.

“Cambodians are looking for products that directly touch them and what they want to do is identify with positive societal change,” she said.

According to World Bank data, Cambodia has about 6 million millennials, or about 40 percent of its population.

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