How to successfully market your product to young folks
1. Don't patronize them. Just because they're young, it doesn't mean their lives are only about partying. Give them rational reasons to buy your stuff, not just fun times.
2. Get to know them. Spend the time it takes to build a relationship where they'll trust you enough to offer you true insights on how to market them.
3. Make it obvious you're marketing. Youth are a sharp bunch. If you try to hide the fact that you're marketing, you'll likely get caught--and the backlash won't be pretty.
4. Assume they're marketing savvy. These are people who wrote essays in Grade 4 media literacy classes on "The brand called me." They understand targeting and appreciate it when it's done in a smart way.
5. Listen to them. Set your preconceived notions aside and pay close attention to what they really think. A little R-E-S-P-E-C-T goes a long way.
Their newsletter archives have some interesting insights, like this one on youth tattoos: Not Just For Sailors, Ex-Cons or Army Vets Anymore.
What about the dark side of youth marketing, you say? An almost relevant blog reference I found led me down that path.
My brother in law, who just got a job with youthography inc., (for those of you that remember, they were responsible for the "Presto" marketing fiasco in Toronto a couple of years ago) was quick to remark how Chuck-E-Cheese was like a casino in training for little kids.
If you haven't already heard the rumblings -- or, rather, seen the orchestrated media campaign scuffed up to mimic a grassroots vibe -- Presto is the Nike-sponsored art gallery/showroom/club that opened in Kensington Market a few weeks ago.
A marketer's wet dream, the oh-so-cool raw space has already played daddy -- complete with artist fees and complimentary shoes -- to a slew of local musicians and artists, all in the hopes of getting alt-culture brand recognition for its burgeoning Presto line. Get the gear associated with people cooler than you.
If you read on, you'll find a comment from Naomi Klein. Remember, someone always has an opinion on youth marketing.