The Attraction of Youth: teen marketing

Teenagers now have more disposable income than ever before, and they have a powerful influence over family spending.  Seen but not heard?  Forget it!  Opinionated since they could speak, these guys are connected, savvy and increasingly hard to get to.

Some brands are targeting this segment as major consumers of their products, like fashion labels and mobile phones.  Others are targeting this segment as the next generation of consumers, like cosmetics brands.  Around 50% of female teens are cosmetically brand loyal by age 15, so snoozers are losers.  Any which way you look at it, brands are trying to get ‘em while they’re young in order to build loyalists that will stick with them as they (and their income) grows.

There’s a real pack mentality amongst teens who would love to think they are individuals.  So to succeed your brand needs to be cool – which can be a tough gig.  They are extraordinarily fickle because they are still trying to work out the rules of play and are not confident about their choices.  Therefore there can be a real transience to what constitutes cool.

So, how to reach that elusive yet lucrative teenager?  Social media is the obvious response, but it’s not as straightforward as you might think.  Recent debate from a couple of teen bloggers indicated some mixed feelings – see I’m 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook and I’m 15 and All My Friends Use Facebook.

So, yes to social media but not all the eggs in the FaceBasket.  Gaming is also another massive growth arena, especially for the boys, who are steering clear of traditional media.  The girls still have their noses in the mags trying to work out what makes boys tick, and when they figure out the futility of that exercise they find another one like watching soapies on the telly.

These guys also process information faster than earlier gen’s and prefer short, snappy phrases to long-winded yawn-worthy explanations.  Therefore there is unlikely to be anyone under the age of 20 still reading this article.

If you need help devising teen marketing strategies, get in touch.  We’re like, totally down with it.

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