Younger generations have always been on the radar for brands, but recently it’s become clearer and clearer that they also represent a key to brand growth. They are tech-savvy and always eager to engage. They are never offline and have taken hold of social platforms. So what are brands to do to catch the attention of these youth who constantly find themselves in overcrowded spaces, both on- and offline? Has traditional marketing become obsolete, with digital now being the only way to go? Are brands forced to become more agile at the detriment of brand consistency?

We decided to ask some experts in ‘Youth Marketing’ to shed some light on the matter:

Rhodri Evans, Brand Engagement Manager of Levi’s.

Laura Colin, Former Creative Strategist of BBC and Co-Founder of The Storm Collective.

Rebecca Doherty, Brand Marketing Manager of River Island.

Trishna Daswaney, Founder of Kohl Kreatives.

Curious what we cover in this edition of The Roundtable? Take a look at the questions we posed our experts and be sure to download this month’s issue:

  1. What is “youth marketing” and why is it so important for both established brands and newcomers?
  2. Why do most brands have difficulty engaging with their younger targets in an era of endless, two-way communication options?
  3. The state of modern technology evolution (exponential) creates constant changes in culture, at a very rapid pace, and young generations align less and less with archetypes. Consequently, brands are having a hard time keeping up with their targeting. Has agility become a definitive must-have for youth-oriented brands?
  4. Youth marketing strategies can be applied for youth-oriented brands in the short run, but they can also be great long-term brand-building mechanisms for brands that want to ensure that their young stakeholders of today become their adult stakeholders of tomorrow. How are these strategies different in terms of desired outcome and execution?
  5. Classic marketing methods mostly produced one-way communication materials, distributed via one-way channels (e.g., paper, radio, TV). How has new media influenced the way that brands do marketing today, given that most of these new channels are two-way?
  6. Today, YouTube is one of the most influential (if not the most influential) new media platforms, but it introduces content makers as an extra nod in the brand-customer communication string. Brands now rely strictly on their product and on the opinions and review of the content maker – the latter having become crucial in customers’ decision-making processes. Can brands steer clear of this or is it key to remaining relevant in the eyes (and pockets) of younger audiences?
  7. Younger generations, most of them early adopters in the realm of tech and new media, are big content consumers gradually rejecting traditional marketing. Can content marketing be the tool of choice for tomorrow’s brands, subsequently pushing traditional marketing out of the picture?
  8. The world has been given the means to express itself openly, through social media, and youth take full advantage of this opportunity. Brands are often called out for their actions and their ability to manage conflict is one of the only things that can sustain brand trust (or even make it grow) when done properly. Do you believe that this ability should be invested in and embedded into every youth marketing strategy?
  9. What are your suggestions for brands, both new and established, that wish to step up their youth marketing game or reorient their brand towards a younger audience? What can they do in terms of mindsets, ethics, methodology, tools, channels, etc.?

Download The Roundtable #36 on Youth Marketing Now