Marketing to youth is a lucrative business move as there are approximately 22 million teens in America. These teens carry the money to pay for your products generally do not consider their finances as intensely as their working parents. Over 95% of teens have access to a computer and last year young shoppers spent nearly $200 billion. Online sales, especially targeting the youth market, is one where businesses need can increase their bottom line.
But how? Just because teens are generally compulsive buyers DOES NOT mean that they aren’t picky about what they buy. Understanding the age demographic is essential for generating new customers.
Here are three things businesses need to know about successfully marketing to youth:
1. Be “Cool”
As a business, you need to understand that in order to target the youth market, you need to give them what they want… popularity. All teens are in a desperate search for popularity or, at the very least, to fit in. Thinking back, I can think of a dozen trends that I eagerly participated in without thinking twice about… Yu-Gi-Oh cards, Scooters, Lance Armstrong Bands, GameBoys, Vans, skinny jeans, and a surplus of Apple products. And yet, I never questioned whether these things were good ideas or not. I didn’t think twice about spending a few hundred dollars on these new products. Why? Because they were “cool.”
Ultimately, brands must understand that when marketing to youth, they must appeal to the awkward and unconfident nature of their consumers. Teens purchase products for the look and lifestyle associated with them. Your product has to come with an overall image… and a “cool” one at that.
Today’s “cool” is different from the cool of the past. It’s not about being a rebel. It is about having a look that makes everyone envious. Many parents have a say in what their kids can or cannot buy, so try to think of parents as allies. When marketing to young customers, your advertisements need to appeal to the strong youth desire to be envied by their peers, coupled with a message that will get an “A-Okay” from parents.
So, be cool until next the post where you’ll learn two more things you need to know about marketing to youth.
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