Today’s youth has little tolerance for deception, and mistrust has become a main factor in their decision to disconnect from certain brands. Even more, for individuals seeking value alignment and sense of responsibility from the brands they consume, ‘trust’ is the game and ‘transparency’ is the ball. The young generation will not only distance themselves quickly if they feel deceived, but they will also call brands out publicly. And they care for more than just themselves — the environment and social injustice are but a few that are interests for youngsters, but taboo for brands. By trying to market them blindfolded, brands risk losing the game of trust.

Brandingmag sat down with some experts in ‘Youth Marketing’, to find out how brands can earn young trust and why they should think twice about marketing taboos.

Our guests are also speakers at YMS:Online, one of the dedicated events on youth marketing.

Rob Scotland, Head of Strategy at McCann London

Mary Keane-Dawson, Group CEO of Takumi

Mike Blake-Crawford, Strategy Director at Social Chain

Jessica Blair, Associate Director at Civic Nation

Sean Pillot de Chenecey, Strategy Consultant & Author at Brand Positive

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 do young generations today value most in brands?
  2. Why is trust so important for building loyalty between a brand and its audience?
  3. Where do ‘truth’ and ‘trust’ meet when it comes to the brand’s reputation and its position in the customer’s mind?
  4. Can you name one or more fundamental truths about brands that you strongly believe in? How do they stack up against contemporary marketing and brand-building methods?
  5. Influencer marketing is one of digital marketing’s preferred tools nowadays, especially for targeting a younger audience. How can brands build trust and advocacy via influencer marketing?
  6. Trust is easily gained or lost in times of crisis, and young consumers expect much more from their chosen brands than their predecessors do. What can brands do to live up to those expectations and manage trust properly?
  7. Today’s youth no longer keeps brands separate from social, political, or environmental matters. More so, they personally bring these discussions to brands’ doorsteps, often holding them accountable for their actions (or lack thereof). Do brands need to tackle these previously-avoided “taboos” proactively if they wish to gain the favor of younger generations?
  8. Do you reckon that taking a stand on the aforementioned “taboos” will one day become a brand’s primary tool for garnering trust and loyalty from younger generations, given that more and more of them tackle such topics in day-to-day life?
  9. How does truth lead to trust, and how can taboos be leveraged ethically and effectively when marketing to a younger audience? Can you trace a fluent line between these three elements?
  10. What are your three best (read: proven) recommendations for how brands can manage a bi-directional channel of trust between them and their customers?