Youth Marketing Insights » Youth Marketing Inspiring best in practice youth marketing through sharing of ideas, strategy, trends and conversations about cool stuff Thu, 04 Feb 2010 04:31:40 +0000 en hourly 1 Global Financial Crises not just for grown-ups Thu, 12 Mar 2009 03:58:33 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg What does the Global Financial Crises (GFC) mean to you? Well, probably a lot. You have probably been following the stocks, the interest rates, the stimulus packages; you are probably concerned about job security, know people who have been made redundant, or maybe even putting off retirement.

What does it mean to the 18yr old in uni, or 21yr old just out? Well a lot more then they apparently seem to know.

As part of the voxpop series for this blog, I hit the streets to interview 18-25yrs old on the GFC and what effects it was having on them personally. Here are a few of my favs which I think provide interesting insight.

What does this mean to me? Not that teens aren’t affected by the GFC. They are, their families are, and in their lives there has never been a more important time to get on top of finances, be wary of out of control credit debt (not speaking from personal experience…), learn about savings and investment options. In fact in a recent article in the London’s Daily Telegraph, research conducted by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the UK suggests “16 to 24-year-olds are the most at risk”, particularly with regards to planning ahead and choosing financial products.

Many pessimists argue this lack of understanding is due to Gen Y’s “irresponsible optimism”. However if you look a bit deeper much research suggests that while, yes, Gen Y are optimistic, they are also realisitic. This video highlights they are actually eager to hear about the ground rules, they agree they need to know more.

That said, I would suggest the heart of the issue is that the conversation hasn’t yet become directed to Gen Y – WHY they should care, and therefore they haven’t listened. I know I don’t listen when someone is talking, or even shouting, to the person next to me, why would I? (that is unless of course they are whispering and it is gossip)

So here-in lies a huge opportunity for banks and/or financial services – utilize this inherent interest in the economy to extend your brand out to them, educate through dialogue, and in turn build a trusted advisor relationship…the holy grail…usually we usually we are trying to create conversation and force ourselves in, well here it is, on your doorstep, just jump on in.

Who knows, as my colleague Helina Lilley (a Gen Y in our Corporate Services team) very cleverly pointed out to me, maybe with the right guidance, these Gen Yers and their optimistic outlook will no longer be criticized, but instead become known as Gen Yield – the ones who steered their way through the recession and emerged with handsome high yielding portfolios. And let’s face it – it isn’t a hare-brained theory to think these cashed-up Gen Ys could potentially save the economy — cue to many major organizations that are counting on exactly that business strategy.

In my humble opinion, Helina, you have nailed it – educate Gen Y and convert to Gen-Yield.

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Top brands for teens globally: may the most relevant win Thu, 05 Mar 2009 06:00:58 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg I was reading an interesting (or is it expected?) press release on a study that has surveyed and identified the “Top Brands for Teens Globally” (TRU Global Teen Study)…to no surprise all the world’s biggest names were there, including Coca-Cola, Nike, and Adidas. Deservedly so, those brands have for years been setting standards in best in practice youth-marketing, and I am certainly a fan of all three. However the topic of the survey got me thinking generally…being one of the “world’s biggest” brands isn’t neccesarily the same as being “global”?

Splitting hairs in diction maybe, but I think there is a significant difference between the two – only one builds relevance. This is when I question to what extent “awareness” is important, potentially a lot of our affiliations with big brands is residual from mass-media days where the biggest that bought the most media, had the most retail space won.

But those days are over, and the times, they are a changin’….so is awareness alone enough to sustain  appeal among youth? I think not, and this could potentially be too much of a shock for some big giants if they can’t learn to adapt.

To today’s teens and early 20-somethings, niche’s are important, grass roots campaigns influence, consumers expect companies to hear them – and respond. A small home-grown can be nimble, flexible, they are ingrained in the consumers. That encompasses everything youth marketing is. So where does this leave the big guys that have been driving culture for decades? Well, I think it leaves them in the same place as the little guys, it equals the playing ground.

What it comes down to is any brand that underestimates the importance of engaging their consumer and adapting accordingly is going to struggle to maintain relevance and, while this is a generalization, the bigger the brand, the more difficult they may find it to effect change.

Stop right there however, this isn’t my potentially career-ending theory of a bunch of Davids taking down the Goliath (a fav and unoriginal analogy), it is more a piece of advice for all youth brands, may the most relevant win. If you are “big” you can’t rest on your laurels, if you are “small”, as you grow don’t take for granted your core customer base that helped define you.

Either way it will be interesting when this radical shift in consumer behavior becomes more of a ripple and less of a seismic earthquake to see what big brands have become little, and what little brands have become big, or what value size will have period…. and what will be really interesting will be what, if any, control any of us “marketers” (versus the consumer) had on it anyway.

Full of questions, not answers, that’s always the way.

Photo credit: Barbie turns heads at the launch in Shanghai (Claro Cortes/Reuters)

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iTunes University, but what about the football team? Wed, 25 Feb 2009 22:35:26 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg I love the studies surrounding university lectures now available on iTunes from several test campuses (‘iTunes university’ better than the real thing; Ewan Callaway, New Scientist) — apparently if you go to the class, take notes during the lecture, then download the podcast following and go back through the difficult sections time and time again until you understand – you increase your average score on the next test….really?!

I am not being critical of the concept of online learning or even this study, let me be clear that I am a huge fan and applaud these universities as it feels like a natural progression. It seems the higher ups understand what is driving youth culture and are attempting to harness it – good on them. Furthermore I think that in the current economic landscape, online lectures provide a great opportunity for disadvantaged youth to participate in higher education. On this note I would like to see more universities making  lectures open to download although I understand the DRM issues surrounding this as it is by nature proprietary….maybe it is a form of online university with a different monetization model…but once I again I have digressed…

I just feel all of this is missing something, probably because I am concerned that the whole professor, theater-style of lecture is outdated for Gen Y. It’s hard enough to get kids to go to one lecture, let alone download it and listen 2x, 3x or even 4x times to fully digest the info.

What I think would be interesting would be to flip the whole lecture-university model on its head and adapt more of the Gen Y mentality. I think as everything for this generation, it is about collaboration, empowerment and even entertainment. My point is when marketing to youth (and yes, that is what universities do) we need to completely rethink these engagement models to really harness the power.

All this being said, it’s great to daydream about what an online iUniversity will look like, just wonder how some of the more traditional pillars of college will transfer into this virtual world – iDebt, iFootball, iFraternities or iDorm Rooms?

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Hello World! Thu, 19 Feb 2009 22:55:45 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg I have always categorised myself as part of the population that actively consumes media, especially online. However, as anyone who knows me will point out, I am also very opinionated. So I have decided to finally jump that 90/10 digital divide (90% consumers, 10% creators), and start this blog to share insights and trends relevant to what I am most passionate about, Youth Marketing.

Before I jumped in head first, I wanted to introduce myself, and at least the intention of this blog. By intention I mean if I veer off track, please bear with me.

As just mentioned, I love Youth Marketing, especially the fundamental shifts the era of the WWW has brought upon us – it’s exciting, it’s new, and it breaks a lot of “rules” – finally! I feel this has changed our society and us as people first, and then as marketers. We still have a lot of learning to do.

Some days I will take this topic and write long, chunky posts, sometimes it will be short and sweet. At time I might revert to soapbox style ranting, and others might be irreverent and fun photos that inspired me. Regardless of the style, I always will strive to be amusing and insightful.

Please use this blog to share with me as well, or you can catch me at @mstuyvenberg of Until then happy reading!

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