Gain Insight on the Latest Teen Consumer Trends

Sep 9, 2021

Piper Sandler partnered with DECA to publish a consumer pulse survey (n=500, average age 16.5 years) as we progress through the back-to-school (BTS) season for Fall 2021.

Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

  • 95% of teens returning Back-to-School this Fall vs. 75% of teens being virtual last Fall
  • Teens expect to spend $456 on all Back-to-School categories
  • Apparel and Footwear was the biggest spending category at $156 – 32% say they intend to spend more than last year on the category
  • Three largest spending intents are Shoes, Jeans and Leggings/Sweatpants
  • For all teens, Nike was the No. 1 Apparel & Footwear brand; Vans was the No. 2 footwear brand; LULU was the No. 4 brand; For males, UAA was in the top 5 for Apparel & Footwear
  • 74% of females say they will wear makeup Back-to-School, with 88% saying they will wear makeup the same or more frequently Back-to-School this year

While looking at the results from the Back-to-School survey, answer these following questions.

  1. What is the overall function of Piper Sandler? Even though they are an investment bank in the financial industry, why are marketing, brands, Gen Z, social media and even celebrities important to them?
  2. Why is marketing data important?
  3. Why do you think Piper Sandler wanted to host a Back-to-School survey this year in addition to their annual Fall and Spring surveys?
  4. Which category had the highest purchasing intention?
  5. What are top fashion trends for both males and females for Back-to-School?
  6. If you were an investor, which one brand would you want to invest in? Why?
  7. Select three key findings from the Back-to-School Survey. Explain why you personally agree or disagree with each finding.


Cindy Allen
Director of Sponsorships

Cindy Allen is DECA's director of sponsorships. In this role, she develops strategic corporate partnerships and serves as liaison between DECA Inc. and its partnering organizations. She also manages DECA’s scholarship program, coordinates advertising and exhibits and works with special event activities.

Discussion Questions

  • 1
    Why do you think companies want answers to questions that were asked in the survey? How do you think they will use the data?
  • 2
    Describe how the use of technology enhanced the collection of the data.
  • 3
    Based on your participation in this marketing research, explain characteristics of effective data-collection instruments.
  • 4
    Select three key findings from the Back-to-School Survey. Explain why you agree or disagree with each finding.

Classroom Connection

Career CLuster:


Instructional Area(s):

Marketing-Information Management

Performance Indicators:

Explain the concept of market and market identification
Explain factors that influence customer buying behavior
Describe the need for marketing data
Describe the use of technology in the marketing-information management function