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By 26 May 2011 | Categories: news

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The Sunday Times Generation Next 2011 Brand Survey Awards celebrated a number of brands this week, but it was a technology one, RIM’s BlackBerry, that came out on top in the end, taking away the ‘Coolest Brand’ award for the year.

BlackBerry also won the Coolest Cell Phone and Coolest High-Tech Gadget awards at the show. Repeat winners at the show included ABSA as Coolest Bank, Pick n Pay as Coolest Grocery Store and 5FM as Coolest Radio Station, while newcomers such as Jay Jays, 8.ta and Top Gear took honours in their respective categories.

The Sunday Times Brand Survey illustrates what young consumers deem cool and popular, irrespective of financial constraints. The awards span a massive 72 categories and is divided into two broad sections namely, Coolest Brands and Lifestyle Habits.

The survey found, to no one's surprise, that tech consumption trends amongst the youth market is still increasing, with a new preference for multi-purpose, functional and affordable products emerging.

This is one of the reasons cited why BlackBerry managed to scoop this year's Coolest Brand Overall title, with the smartphones having widespread appeal thanks to its useful services (BBM) and popular image.

The survey revealed that today's youth market (between the ages of 8 and 22), has taken its online experience and interpreted it in the consumer realm, with the Facebook 'like' function gaining especial importance.

This is because the youth of today, dubbed Generation Y, is the first generation that's been able to broadcast its opinions and views across all manner of issues via the internet and social media platforms from a very young age.

“Any brand looking to strategically break through into the youth market first and foremost needs to know what the youth 'likes',” said Enver Groenewald from the Sunday Times. “As the buying force of tomorrow, youth need to be much validated as consumers: they have the potential to make or break a product or service.”

The Sunday Times Generation Next 2011 Brand Survey will be available as a supplement in the 29 May 2011 edition of the Sunday Times.

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