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(GhaniKunto.me) Download - Youth Marketing Handbook

  1. 1.     We need to move from viewing youth as destinations for our marketing messages to treating them as partners in its production – Graham Brown    
  2. 2.  Copyright© 2011 by mobileYouthAll rights reserved. No part of this document may bereproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, orotherwise, without prior written permission of mobileYouthAuthors grant fair use of book’s materials according toconventions of “fair use” covering printed materials         1    
  3. 3.  Introduction  by  Graham  Brown  Selling to youth is easy, very easy.In fact, whether you are selling soda, mobile phones orinsurance - once you know about context and fans,they’ll be ripping it out of your hands.Selling to your own organization, however, is the realsale. Your competitors aren’t other banks, mobilebrands or games providers in the same category - it’syour own department, your marketing team and youragencies. Your competitors are marketing managerswho’ll never get fired for booking TV campaigns,agencies using your marketing budget as a ticket to theCannes Lions and a boss who “has all the information heneeds.”You’re surrounded by seemingly immovable habits,behaviors and a lifetime of relationships with peoplewho really want to do something exciting, but at the endof the day, are afraid of change. We call it diseconomiesof scale and it explains why the biggest threat to brandscan be their own success.And when you tell me that your organization is alreadysold on youth marketing? That’s a warning sign too.Not enough dissent, not enough vocal opposition forhealthy debate.That’s where you come in. 2    
  4. 4.  Yes, you’re reading this book, so you’re already in theselect few. You are part of the 5% who want to changethings, because your brand’s strength with youth is justthat - your brand’s ability to change and constantlyreinvent itself. When kids started seeing their parentssqueezing into a pair of 501s in the 80s, Levi’ssomehow lost its appeal. It’s a mistake that eventuallycost them their market position to new challengers likeReplay, CK and later on, brands like Diesel. It took thebetter part of the next two decades for Levi’s to recoverfrom that mistake.Levi’s failed because it was successful. Nokia failedbecause it was successful. Pepsi failed because it wassuccessful. You see a pattern emerging here? Brandsfail with the youth market when they don’t have enoughmoney, or when they have too much. Given the choice,I’d rather take the first scenario because that’s whereinnovation thrives.I’ve been helping brands build bridges to reach theyouth market for over 10 years. I’m a cultural explorerand adventurer and share my insights and learnings withcompanies across the world. What I’ve learned is thatgreat brands aren’t products of great strategies but are afunction of great company culture. Often, the peopleinvolved wouldn’t call what they’re doing “youthmarketing.” I’m thinking about people like Ian Stewartfrom Converse, Peter Adderton from Boost Mobile, JakeNickell and Tom Ryan from Threadless, Ian Votterifrom ESPN X-Games, Vipe Desai who used to head upaction sports at Monster, Peter Van Stolk founder ofJones Soda, and Torsten Schmidt from Red Bull Music 3    
  5. 5.  Academy. Through their journeys, I’ve learned criticallessons in how brand culture needs to be, and howmarketers need to live that culture rather than simplyoutsource it to a creative agency. It’s through theirjourneys that I’ve helped a whole host of brandsunderstand their young customers - from banks togovernment agencies.Making great brands and engaging youth, therefore, isnot about hiring an agency to buy media space and runclever campaigns. It is about creating an environmentthat allows insights, relationships and innovation tohappen. This is where the organizations themselves sooften get in the way. Fear. So much of marketingoperates from a baseline of fear.There was a little known psychological experimentconducted by Dr. Elizabeth Newton at StanfordUniversity 1990 in which, despite its size, unlocked awealth of insights into the success and failure ofmarketing. When subject A (Tappers) were asked aboutthe success rate of subject B (Listeners) in correctlyguessing the song that subject A was tapping, A’sconfidently pegged the hit rate at 50%. When subject B(Listeners) were asked to identify the song – only 2% ofthem guessed correctly.There is a song in your head that you are trying to singabout your products, your brands, your launch, yourwebsite or whatever exciting information you want tobring to market. But they’re just not getting it. 4    
  6. 6.  They are your customers, your colleagues, your bossesand your partners. They are not getting it because offear. Fear encourages you to cut corners. Fear makes iteasier to simply hire a creative agency to run a TVcampaign rather than engage one on a longer project tofind your fans. Fear means we don’t fix marketing orinnovation because it’s not our jobs to. What this bookaims to do is to share with you insights into how you canget it right; not through theories, but through examplesof brands that are consistently successful in engagingyoung customers by being comfortable with fear. WhatI mean by “comfort” is living with it, not trying to avoidit.There will always be fear - fear that letting your youngcustomers take control will result in a PR backlash, fearthat letting them tell the story won’t generate the neededresults, and fear that building an asset would meanmissing your next quarter’s targets. Fear of theunknown, the new, the uncontrollable and letting go.It’s here great brands thrive.When you’re comfortable with fear it can also become agreat motivator - call this positive fear. It’s the samefear Jeff Bezos of Amazon talks about when he tells hisemployees to wake up afraid their customers will leavethem. The words “fear of losing out” can commit us toactions that may have taken a lifetime to completeotherwise. They can become the ammunition, thestories, and the tools you need to make that changeinternally. Otherwise, you’ll be overwhelmed by thenegative fear of your network. 5    
  7. 7.  In the Youth Marketing Handbook, we will share withyou that ammunition, those stories and tools from 10years of insights in simple bite-size stories for you totake away. We’ll do this with the collective insight ofthe mobileYouth team - myself Graham Brown, FreddieBenjamin, Josh Dhaliwal and Ghani Kunto. We’re notgiving you all the answers. In fact, we hope the storieswe share with you here are going to get you asking morequestions.Send those questions and ideas tograham.d.brown@mobileyouth.org   6    
  8. 8.     1.  CONTENT     vs  CONTEXT   Youth don’t buy stuff, they buy what stuff does for them Content is what you make for them Context is what you mean to them Youth buy on emotion and justify with logic 7    
  9. 9.  People  Drink  the  Can,  Not  the  Soda  There’s a marketing story told by both Seth Godin andDan Ariely about Coke and Pepsi which is as good aplace as any to start our journey into the world of youth,branding and media.When clients ask us how they can learn more aboutyouth marketing, we point them to the study of soda.Soda marketers are the youth marketer’s marketerbecause here are men and women selling fizzy waterwith a few flavorings - there is nothing to distinguishone product from the next. The only distinguishingfactor, therefore, is the context each marketer can createfor his or her brand.Back in the 80s, the Pepsi reached its zenith as a youthbrand. Stealing market share from its rival infused thecompany with a growing sense of confidence. Thecompany launched the “Pepsi Challenge,” aimed toassert the upstart cola as the de facto brand of choice. Inthe Challenge, customers took blind taste tests whichresulted in 60% of them stating that Pepsi tasted better.In Pepsi’s mind, they had won and market share wouldfollow.Researchers in the 90s repeated the Pepsi challenge butemployed a subtle twist. Rather than making thesubjects wear blindfolds and drinking anonymous colas,the researchers told the subjects which brands they were 8    
  10. 10.  drinking before the taste test. The result? Four times asmany people said they preferred the taste of Coke.You see, people aren’t simply buying a product. Theybuy the whole social package. This is the distinctionbetween Content (the product) and Context (thepackage). As Seth Godin pointed out, “blind taste testsare only good if you have blind customers” and “peopledrink the can not the soda.”Simply put, we don’t buy stuff. We buy what stuff doesfor us.Is Harley Davidson a great bike for old guys, or anexcuse to dress up in leather and terrorize yourneighbors? Is Lego a great toy for kids, or a way toreclaim fond childhood memories of father and sonbuilding together?We sometimes use Lego bricks in client presentations toillustrate the difference between Content and Context.They are mere simple plastic bricks after all. But lookat what you can build with them. Look at the fun youcan have. The bricks are tools to help you createContext.Sharpie permanent markers are yet another anomaly inthe digital era. How can sales of a pen increase 3% yearafter year, despite the growing trend among youngpeople to adopt e-readers, text messaging and blogs?The answer lies in what you can do with the pen. Youcan show your individuality by drawing on yourConverse shoes with a Sharpie. You can express your 9    
  11. 11.  rebellious side by tagging public bathroom walls with aSharpie. Sharpie is just a tool. Even in the digital era,the context of these analog tools for will never die.Advertisers call this “what stuff does for us” the “benefitof the benefit.” That means we have to look at what thisproduct does for us socially - the context - rather thanthe product itself. Content is what you make. Contextis what that means to people.Content  vs.  Context:  A  Comparison Content ContextWhat is it? Product Social Package What we buy Why we buyDrivers Logic EmotionExamples Price, Need to belong Touchscreen Need to be keyboards, Offer, significant DesignMarketing Advertising, Communities, Socialtools Campaigns, Programs, Events, Sponsorship, Projects Celebrities, PRWho Companies Users, customers,creates it? fansExperience Content Context experience experience starts starts before the after the purchase purchase, exists even & exists only when not interacting 10    
  12. 12.   during direct with the product, interaction with lasts way beyond the the product. end of product usage.It’s difficult, admittedly.We become engrossed in the world of product andContent. We discuss the fineries of our product and itsunique selling points over the competitors--ours has abetter touch screen, more memory and comes in thesecolors. Once you engage the creative agency, theysimply follow through on this Content narrative. Foryears, companies have been hiring agencies to magnifythe differences between products - Pepsi tastes betterthan Coke, SonyEricsson has more megapixels in itscamera, and so on. In reality, however, this value maybe post-rationalization applied by the brain afterrealizing the social Context of the product. Microsoft’sZune was a technically better product, but the markethad already decided on Apple’s iPod. Zune won onContent. By virtue of a decade of investing in youth,students, teachers, families and music stores thatfacilitated sharing, iPod won on Context.The  King  is  DeadWe hear the phrase “Content is King” used regularly inreference to youth marketing.Good content, we are led to believe, sells. We only haveto look at the world of Content—advertising, marketingmessages, celebrity stories and headline sponsorships— 11    
  13. 13.  to understand that this is big business. What we don’treally get, however, is a sense of how this industry maybe self-perpetuating. “Content is King” helpsadvertising agencies justify their existence to clients:pay us money, we’ll deliver great Content.If “Content is King” why would anybody buy a productthat killed them (cigarettes)? It doesn’t make sense. Ifpeople were really buying the Content of cigarettes,whole generations of young people would avoid theperils of tobacco. Young first time smokers know thehealth risks, but to them, the Context of cigarettes—thesense of belonging afforded among fellow smokers, thebrand stories, the rituals of smoking, cigarette sharing—is more important than life itself.While thankfully youth smoking is in decline in anumber of countries, the emotional tendencies of youngsmokers are applicable to the world’s general youthpopulation. Think about young people and mobilephones. We should know. We’ve worked in the fieldsince 2001.Mobile phones and cigarettes offer similar Context:belonging, ritual, sharing, emancipation, andindependence. You can see why one has replaced theother as the moniker of cool for youth. Now think aboutthe role of your product within youth’s social universe—are you selling the benefits of the Content or theContext? How will this help a young person to belong?How will this help a young person be significant? 12    
  14. 14.  If you want to understand Content vs. Context in action,take a look at the bestsellers on display at your localbookstores. Which ones are selling? Cookbooks byBourdain and Oliver maybe? They aren’t introducinganything new. They are simply repackaging existingrecipes in a format that helps people believe they arebuying into a story. It gives the buyer something to talkabout and tools to interact with others.The  Social  Packaging  When Xiao Zheng’s mother found her son returninghome to their family apartment in Anhui, China with hisrecent haul of iPad2, iPhone and spare cash she becameconcerned. It didn’t require the acute intuition of amother to know something was up.After prolonged questioning, Ms. Liu was relieved tofind this wasn’t the result of theft, drugs or prostitution.It was at that point, a more menacing reality emergedwhen Zheng revealed a deep scar running down the backof his torso. He had sold his own kidney. Like manyparents in China, local TV station anchors were alsoshocked and stunned that these objects could beconsidered more valuable than life itself.Zheng’s story started when he saw an online advertisingoffering money to young Chinese students to becomeorgan donors. After contacting the nefarious gray-market agents, Zheng made the trip to an officialhospital at a different province where, followingremoval of his kidney, he returned with around $3,300in cash. 13    
  15. 15.  “I wanted to buy an iPad 2 but I didn’t have the money”the boy confessed to Shenzhen TV. “When I surfed theinternet I found an advert posted online by an agentsaying they were able to pay RMB20,000 to buy akidney.”Perhaps the sad twist in the tale is Zheng’s ownadmission that having bought his phone and iPad he“regretted” the decision. Not only was he one kidneydown, he was sizably shortchanged on the deal--a blackmarket kidney can fetch up to $160,000 according tosome sources.While Zheng was arranging the deal with his brokers, onthe other side of China in Sanlitun province, riots werebreaking out outside the Apple Store. The crowd wasnot venting their anger at the brand that had ruined aseemingly naive and innocent person’s life. The crowdwas venting their anger at each other. Ordinary Chineseyouth clashed against their peers. As Zheng wasnegotiating his organs away, young Chinese wereexchanging hard earned cash for a limited number ofiPad 2s at the official Apple Store. A large number ofthose waiting in line felt that they were going to missout. For those still waiting in line, watching their peerscoming out of the store with an iPad 2 resulted in aheady concoction of envy, frustration and fear of losingout. They started to lash out against each other.Is this unique to Chinese youth?When one 16 years old student from the UK had to live24 hours without his mobile phone he reported, “All I 14    
  16. 16.  wanted to do was pick up my phone and become a partof the human race again.”This student took part in an intriguing research studythat challenged young people to live 24 hours withouttheir most prized possession--the mobile phone. Theirresponses?“I felt lonely without multimedia. I arrived at theconclusion that media is a great companion. “--Chile“At the beginning, I felt irritable, tense, restless andanxious when I could not use my mobile phone. When Icouldn’t communicate with my friends, I felt so lonelyas if I was in a small cage on an island.” --ChinaIt’s not just youth in remote regions of the world.Here’s what one 15 years old Long Islander said in ourrecent ethnographic survey of youth-and-mediarelationship in the USA:“I went camping one time and there was no service outthere, no Wi-Fi, or any internet connection. I felt like Iwas pretty much in jail. I didn’t know what to do. Icouldn’t talk to any of my friends. I didn’t know whatwas going on. I felt like I was missing so much.”When traditional media caught hold of these kinds ofstories, they are quick to arrive at the seemingly obviousconclusions: insidious brands, addiction to technology,“kids these days,” corruptible minors, decline in socialmorals, etc. It’s a Content-centric view of the world thatsees only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and while 15    
  17. 17.  misguided, it is recurrent in our own history.Rock’n’Roll music, TV, blue jeans, video games andsneakers have all been made media pariahs, but no oneseemed to fully understood that these things were justthe another object on the Content carousel that rotatesthrough generations.Context, however, looks at what lies beneath the waterline: motivations, causes, social packaging. We forgethow it was back when we were teens. Look back longenough and you’ll find similar concerns and stories of“addiction” and irrational behavior.But those were not really stories of youthaddiction. They were stories of the strength of youth’ssocial drivers, and how different tools fill the vacuum.Our 15 years old Long Islander didn’t want to gocamping with his parents just as any 15 years old fromprevious generations ago didn’t want Mom & Dad at hisbirthday party, or listening to his music.Content exposes only the symptoms--the objects withinthe story. Context reveals to us the plot lines.New  Technologies  Old  Behaviors  To us, it’s just what boys have been doing all over theworld for hundreds of years. To Satoshi Tajiri,however, it was a $100 billion global franchise.If you’re British, it’s Trump Cards. If you’reIndonesian, it’s playing with the seeds of rubber trees.For you, it could be kites, dodge ball, or marbles, but 16    
  18. 18.  wherever you are in the world, it’s just what boys havebeen doing for hundreds of years. These are simplegames that facilitate social interaction between boys.These tools help create structure for these interactions.That’s why their highest appeal applies to most pre-teens. It’s this group--the socially awkward male--thathas the greatest growing social awareness, but the leastdeveloped skills to satiate this awareness.Each conveys numerous social rituals, avenues tomastery and urban myths, from the kid who had theconcrete conker to the one who soaked kite wire in glassgrinds. Each tool passed via word of mouth from onegeneration to the next. Each platform comes without arulebook, but a socially filtered group of rules throughwhich interaction can take place. The platform createswinners and losers; thus, reinforcing existing socialdynamics. It creates heroes and outcasts. A young boycan choose to train and invest in the skills of theplatform, achieve mastery and boost their socialstanding.These platforms led Satoshi Tajiri to a $100 billionglobal franchise.When Satoshi Tajiri sought inspiration for Nintendoshugely successful Pokémon series he didnt have to lookfar; Tajiri drew insight from his own youth. What 8years old boy didnt enjoy scrapping in the schoolyard,grubbing around in dirt and the fascination of bothinsects and dinosaurs? The sales that followed thePokémon brand stood as testament to one truth abouttechnology and marketing. If youre going to launch a 17    
  19. 19.  product, use the technology to enhance existingbehaviors instead of creating new ones. In Pokémon’scase, the game was no more than a technologicalevolution of the Context that young boys had beenplaying with for generations--trading cards, combat andthe love of insects. Pokémon simply brought thetimeless behaviors that boys of a certain age group intothe information age. Trade cards, do battle against yourfriends, and train your army of monsters.The "Pocket Monster" concept, from which the namederived, was all about first finding what youngcustomers already love, and then using technology tomake it better. It’s about finding the Context anddesigning Content that can better serve that Context forthe new generation.A focus on Content and technology often does theopposite: find a way of making the Content better, andthen shoehorn it to "disrupt" existing behavioralpatterns.Its no different with Pokémon than many of thetelecoms industrys inventions. MMS (picturemessages) were supposed to be a richer medium ofcommunication than SMS. You liked SMS - lets makeit better. Its no different to saying, "You liked 2 playerchess - lets make it 3 players!" Chess, like SMS, is notabout the features, but the benefits it affords. Both SMSand chess are popular because they are widelyunderstood and can operate at the lowest commondenominator. With a few exceptions, the rules of chess,conkers, trading cards, marbles, kites and SMS are 18    
  20. 20.  universal and simple enough to allow youth to invest increating Context around them.Great products don’t come with a rulebook, so don’twrite one for yours.We simply make the tools. They make the rules.

Emotion  vs.  Logic  One of the key challenges facing youth marketers todayis in understanding the differences between the reportedand the felt world. Justifying owning a mobile phone inthe early 1990s was difficult if you weren’t a drug-dealer, gas plumber or a stockbroker. Today, it seemsincomprehensible that anyone would need a logicalreason to own one. We simply do.If you sit young people in a room and ask them abouttheir reasons for buying a pair of Nike sneakers, theywill tell you it’s because of the gel/air technology, thedesign and the advertising. Nobody ever tell you theybought Nike because wearing Adidas would make themlook stupid in front of their friends. That’s because theywere trying to justify their purchase decisions post hocso they would appear less whimsical, less emotional.This is something that we all do.People buy on emotion and justify with logic.Your mother bought her first mobile phone in the 90s“just in case the car broke down.” In 10 years, her carhasn’t broken down once, but it just goes to show the 19    
  21. 21.  need to justify emotional behavior with logical post-rationalization. This justification is particularlyprevalent in youth, especially when answering in groups.As you get older you become more confident about yourdecisions and identity, but when you’re a teenager, youconstantly search for social proof to verify yourbehavior. That’s why focus groups are effective atidentifying product content that youth like, and veryineffective at identifying the real reasons of why youthbuy: the social context of that product. This is whymarketers, on reviewing focus group findings, arrive atconclusions like “we need a QWERTY keyboard tocompete with BlackBerry” or “youth want free musicgiveaways to open a new bank account.”Time and time again we’ve heard marketers revertdiscussions back to the price point of free because“that’s what kids want.” When we don’t understandwhy youth buy we relegate everything to price, and thatoften means free. Yet, if young people really wanted“free” why are they spending $400 and up on iPhones oron partying during the weekends? Sure, they are pricesensitive, but price is merely part of the content, notcontext.So how do you access the jugular issue of why youthbuy: the social and emotional context? Just like anyrelationship, people only share emotional informationwith those they trust. That’s why we encourage clientsto bypass focus group style research and start buildingoffline social networks - real world contacts. Theycould be interns, young employees or students in the 20    
  22. 22.  network who want to work with you. These arerelationships you can nurture over years.Marc Kornberger’s Student Village in South Africaoften finds that students who work on their campaignsas brand ambassadors are the first to submit theirresumes when new job vacancies arise. Bernard Hor ofYouthworks Asia in Malaysia finds that while manyyoung people participate in his grass-roots brandprojects, it’s the regulars who yield the most valuableinsights; regulars don’t need “warming up” and feel thatthey can provide feedback (however brutal) without fearof repercussion. Remember that for this age group,many have lived in an education system whereproviding feedback to figures of authority like teachersis rarely encouraged. Youth see brands in a similarlight, they need encouragement.Insights are a function of trust. Use focus groups, getlousy insights. Develop relationships, get honestanswers.Key  Questions  for  Youth  Marketers  • What is the Context of my product?• How are my customers creating Context for my product?• How does my product’s Content support its Context?• Does our marketing focus on Content or Context? Where are we investing our budget? 21    
  23. 23.  • What timeless social rules does my product enable customers to engage in a new way?• What can I do to better understand the emotional drivers behind purchases of my product?           22    
  24. 24.   2.  Design  Thinking   vs.  Social  Thinking   What wins you awards won’t necessarily win you customers When youth break your product do you see a threat to your model or an opportunity to improve? 23    
  25. 25.  Social  Tools  Take a walk along the Rhine River in Cologne andyou’ll find an iron bridge that runs across to the city’sancient cathedral. As you cross the bridge, you’ll alsodiscover a solitary padlock chained to the railing. Acuriosity, but you kept on walking. But soon, there aremore padlocks in more places clustered around ironstruts, like barnacles around a ship’s anchor. Thepadlocks vary from pink to plain. Some are inscribedneatly. Some are scratched with a pin, or set of car keys.All have them are etched with names of two (andsometimes more) lovers.Mikko Ampuja from 15:30 research in Finlandexplained that these padlocks-on-a-bridge phenomenawere not just in Cologne - they were global. In fact,there are 30 or more cities where you can find thesepadlocks--look them up on Wikipedia and you’ll find acity near you. They are called “lovelocks” because thelovers whose name appears on their face plate would,according to tradition, cast the key to the bottom of theriver to be lost to eternity.Social connectivity is all around us.To the irrepressible nature of youth, everything is apotential social tool. What appears to us as a mundaneobject may hold a more profound and emotionalmeaning to some young people.Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 24    
  26. 26.  Generation  O  By the time you read this book, you’ll be on toGeneration Z. What would marketers use to mark thepost Z generations? Perhaps one of those Swedishcharacters that looks like the symbol for Boron with aline through it?The problem with identifying and naming generationsaccording to their era is twofold. First, they’lleventually age out. Make sure you don’t have Gen Y inyour company or job title, lest you too will be draggedinto irrelevancy.Second, you have to be careful about what you’recommunicating by identifying a distinct generation.Gen Y may appear unique in their traits, but when youtake a long term view on their development, you findthat they are no different from previous generations.Every generation wanted to change things, was moreoptimistic, more entrepreneurial and more open to newtechnology than their forerunners. Nothing has changedhere. You can go back to the teenagers of the 50s andfind traits which generational pundits have claimed asunique traits of Gen Y/Z today.Traits  of  Generation  O  compared  to  Adults     Generation O AdultsFree time High LowMoney Low High 25    
  27. 27.  Social need Large and growing Small and decreasingSocial tools Limited and Many and relatively expensive affordable, access to creditProduct Optimization, Read themastery Positive Deviance, Manual, ask a Cultural Hacking young personProduct Google, friends, Call center,support exploration retailProduct Ability to customize Complete,expectations and develop consistentWhat remains constant in the youth market, world over,is their qualitative difference. Here is a generation thatseeks to change and optimize what they have. Give aBlackBerry handset to an adult, and he sees an executivetool that’s useful for email. Give the same tool to ateenager and she’s going to try and crack BBM, and useit as a messaging tool with her friends.All around us are objects that are mundane to the adulteyes, but are loaded with potential to the observantyouthful eyes. That’s why if you want to understandyouth, you need to start understanding them in thecontext of “Generation O”—the optimizers.Optimizing means taking a Social Tool and making itbetter. The more obvious examples of this are the 26    
  28. 28.  mobile phones and technologies. The less obvious arethe more revealing—soda brands, shoes and even theirrelationships with government. As we’ll discover in thisbook, this current crop of youth haven’t changed fromtheir forebears. They’ve simply gained access to moretools. They’re not compromising anymore. If Gen Owants to indulge their passions for Lego, they indulge.If they want to protest against the government, they useFacebook to organize mass protests. Previousgenerations would have learned to suck it up and gowith the flow. Members of Generation O are not drivenby different ideas and convictions; they simply havemore capacity to realize these ideas and convictions.The  Meme  “If you are still ‘Planking’” warned the Inquisitrmagazine “you’re behind the times. A group ofindividuals have decided to move on to… ‘Owling.’”Wait, what’s “Owling?” I haven’t even got round toPlanking yet!As Planking becomes mainstream, Owling picks up themantle. On the Owling Facebook page, the fan base hasyet to reach 1,000, suggesting that either this is goingnowhere, or it’s early days yet. And Owling picturesbegin to emerge: perched like an owl on top of the stairsat home, perched on the national monument in Montreal.Owling has arrived.But what about Planking? 27    
  29. 29.  Planking hit the headlines in 2011 when a youngBrisbane man in his 20s fell from his building’s balconyin a quest for the perfect Planking photograph. Hisunfortunate death put Planking on the map—what beganas a small trickle of young people being photographedlying stiff, like a plank of wood, emerged with a torrentof followers. With over 150,000 fans replete withpictures of young people lying as straight as planks invarious settings—on club dance floors or in front of theTaj Mahal—Facebook’s Planking Group suggests thatyoung people are onto something that the older audiencedoesn’t quite get yet.And that’s the appeal.Planking’s appeal for young people has nothing to dowith the Planking activity itself. It’s what they do withit. Planking is just a social tool to help people connectwith each other. The fact that the older generationsdon’t get it, label it ‘stupid,’ ‘utterly ridiculous’ and‘inane’ in the media, grants these memes their socialvalue.When Shaun Wright-Philipps photographed himselfPlanking on the side of a door frame, the whole of theManchester City soccer squad followed suit, capturingbizarre moments and scenes--from Planking off walls, toPlanking inside cars, as a part of their pre-season tour in2011. Planking had arrived in the eyes of mainstreammedia.And it’s at that point that the memes popularity began tofade, replaced by new contenders to the social tool 28    
  30. 30.  throne that included the upstart Owling. It was also atthis point that creative agencies started featuring thisfading meme in their client pitches.What agencies get so wrong is their focus on Contentrather than Context. Gen O is not into Planking.They’re into “not being adults.” The more whimsicaland seemingly meaningless the tool they choose tocorrupt, the more they can optimize and play with it.When adults (read: creative agencies) hijack the SocialTool, it loses all credibility.We’ve seen it before with flash mobbing. What startedas a grass-roots decentralized movement that embodiedspontaneity and connectivity soon became hijacked bythe creative agencies and their clients. T-Mobile’s $1.5million ad campaign “Life is For Sharing” at LiverpoolStreet station, which won an award for their agencySaatchi, did nothing to increase T-Mobile’s loyalty ratesfrom being the lowest in the industry in UK. We’veseen advertisements placed by creative agencies seekingto recruit flashmobbers for new creative campaigns.What happened to spontaneity?When chasing trends, far too many youth marketersmistake Content for Context. If you want to understandhow Context works, spend half an hour on the 4Chanwebsite, but no more—your brain will turn into mush.On sites like 4Chan, you will find bizarre memes like“Anti-Zombie” where an anonymous member will sharea photo of a municipal building—a water-tank or someother obscure concrete monolith structure—and invite 29    
  31. 31.  members to speculate on how an army of zombieswould attack and overpower the structure.Insane? Yes. Pointless? No.In the Anti-Zombie fortress post, the subject is anabandoned building in Fukuoka prefecture in Japansubmitted by Reddit users “Mitsjol” (complete with areconnaissance video of the tower found on YouTube).The 4Chan tribe submits their interpretations of differentscenarios, including one theory that the zombies couldscale the fortress as the pile of dead bodies reached acritical mass of 8,515 bodies (based on theirmathematical assumptions).Remix-culture then kicked in, and the derivatives beganto appear. We see Anti-Zombie fortress juxtaposed ontoa sharp Alpine mountain scape, a floating fortress (nophysics supplied to explain floatation device), fortresswith arms and legs build like some Transformer toy, andso on. To the outsider, it seemed completely pointless.To the insider, the constant reincarnation of a SocialTool distinguished who was in and who was out of thepeer group.The peer groups that hang out at 4Chan gravitate to thisseemingly whimsical and inane content because it bothproves that a) the content itself is meaningless—this isall about context and b) the more stupid, the more likelyoutsiders will exclaim “I don’t get it.” You only have tolook at the panoply of remixes applied to the rainbowcolored pop-tart cat Nyan.cat in his multiple guises onYouTube to understand that people aren’t really 30    
  32. 32.  enamored by this half-cat half-pop-tart creation. They’resimply taking meaningless objects and using them toconnect with likeminded people out there.Social  Thinking  As marketers, we get excited by iPads and flash mobs.We see early successes and think that by copying thecontent we can also benefit from their reflected glory.T-Mobile’s “Life is for Sharing” is just one of manyexamples wheeled out by creative agencies as an attemptto make a brand cool with young people. Saying youare about “sharing” is one thing; actually helping peopleshare is another.One of the challenges that youth marketers face today isthe dominance of Content-led philosophies. “Content isKing” is just one of many platitudes that underpin theprevailing wisdom of Design Thinking.Design Thinking, we are led to believe, can solve a widerange of problems by looking at design. Nobody usingyour product? Try changing the design. Loyalty ratesdeclining? Change the layout of your retail store. WhatDesign Thinking fails to cover is the fact that peopledon’t buy design. They buy what design does for them.As much as Apple’s popularity is the result of greatdesign and technology, it’s also the result of yearsbuilding grass roots activism among fans, youth,teachers and families from the Apple Camps in store tothe Youth Workshops. Apple knew that building an 31    
  33. 33.  army of fans would take a generation, so it set to workon its K12 education policy back in the 90s, in an erawhen every student was on Windows and PC. Howtimes have changed.It also suits Apple—the high priesthood of secrecy—justfine that all its rivals and wannabes focus on design asthe key to the brand’s success. As long as we remaindistracted and try to mimic design, Apple will continueto help its fans convert your fans over to its brand onecustomer at a time. Social Thinking is the antidote tothe feature-led marketing schools that gave us coloredLevis in the 90s to pink phones 20 years on. When westop thinking in terms of features and functions, andstart thinking in terms of our role in customers’ lives assupplier of Social Tools, we get a better understandingof how we can improve our marketing and evolve theproducts.Design  vs.    Social  Thinking:  A  Comparison  of  Philosophies   Design Thinking Social ThinkingOrigin Logic EmotionOutput Content ContextActivity Creation DiscoveryFocus Product, Features, People, Benefits Benefits of the Benefit 32    
  34. 34.  Organization Top-down, Bottom-up, Centralized DistributedImplementation Big Ideas Small StepsApproach Strategic OrganicTalent Smart people, Ordinary PhDs, genius people, fansResults Award winning SMS, BBM, product - salad Facebook, spinners, long haul music file travel, artist sharing concept albums  Social  Space  When marketers sell a product, they look at what makesthat product different from the next guy in the category,and then ask their agency to magnify this point ofdifference. When you give that product to a youngperson, they instead try to turn it into a tool to createSocial Space.When the Giants won the World Series November 2010,fans quickly took to the streets of San Francisco and, ina display of unbridled enthusiasm fuelled by alcohol andtribalism, set fire to cars, vandalized stores and threwrocks at the police. While stories of young sports fansrioting is nothing new, in this particular riot, you could“check-in” using the mobile app Foursquare. As rioters 33    
  35. 35.  congregated on Bayview, some decided they wouldcheck-in to local landmarks that were simply listed byanonymous creators as “Riots” in the app. To some, it’sa story of everything that’s wrong about today’s youth:misbehaved, disrespectful and whimsical. To us, it isyet another example of how young people simply “finda way” to turn any occasion into a social tool.Probably the best example of exposing our inability asolder marketers to see this, is when you ask people asimple question, like, “How can a spreadsheet be aSocial Tool?” Spreadsheets are for numbers.Spreadsheets are for accountants. They are boring. I ama marketer; give me my flash-mobs-and-Planking-basedcampaign.But when you see how youth in Mumbai, India used thehumble Google Docs spreadsheet as a social tool duringthe bombing incident in July 2011, you get a betterpicture of how product appeal is almost completelyarbitrary and left open to the interpretation of youngpeople—not the marketers’.Within hours of the Mumbai blasts, a student calledNitin Sagar set up an open spreadsheet and asked forhelp from the city’s social media community. Thespreadsheet listed names, contact numbers and details ofhow the contributors could do everything from distributefood, to donate blood to the victims.“Everybody offering help from Dadar Area, joinPrathamesh. He needs people to move the blast victims 34    
  36. 36.  to hospital,” adds one user. “Can give Blood B+vegroup,” adds another based in Goregaon East.Mumbai responded quickly. So quick in fact, that thedocument reached its collaborator limit at 1,000 barringany further citizens from joining the list. When disasterresponses so often appear as a whimsical “#prayfor…”hashtag in people’s Facebook and Twitter updates,youth had turned this superficial interest into ameaningful tool to deliver meaningful help on theground.For the first 1,000 on the list, real kudos.And let’s not forget, this was just a boring spreadsheet.Examples  of  Social  Spaces  Example Content What? Why?Mumbai Spreadsheet Used to Reclaimblast, collect togethernessIndia names of in face of volunteers uncertaintyDigital Online Used to TraditionalFlag version of hold national dayRaising, offline celebrate ceremonyIndonesia ceremony national was long and day on a dull. Young virtual people found platform a different way to show nationalism 35    
  37. 37.  Weibo Instant Chinese In responsesingles Photo group youth turn to lack ofgroups, “missing datingChina persons” channels for service into young a dating Chinese serviceSF Riots, Foursquare Rioters CreatingUSA checking in belonging to “Riots” with other in SF riotersSodcasting Mobile Youth ProvokeUK phone gathering adult around reaction, music on create mobile boundaries phone speaker in public placesFood Mobile food Young Pop-upTrucks, trucks using people communityUSA & Twitter gathering for youngIndonesia around migrants in food truck stop 36    
  38. 38.  Reclaimed  Not a day goes by without someone—usually on thewrong side of 35 years old—in the Indian mediapublicly excoriating the nation’s youth for their anti-social behavior which, inevitably, involves Facebook,mobile phones and BBM. Yet, when we consider howthe youth of Mumbai reacted in times of need when thea large group of the adult population in the municipallegislature were paralyzed by inability and fear offailure, one has to ask: when it came to the crunch, whowere the real anti-socials?Let’s move this on to “unsocial” rather than “anti-social” because anti, by definition, suggests a differentspace that just so happens to be on the opposite side ofwhat you want. We’ll talk about that in a minute. Butfor the minute, let’s consider unsocial.In many respects, the Social Tools of our generationhave lost their social capacity for Generation O. If youare over 30 years old, you will remember fondlyweekends spent at record stores with friends riflingthrough the bargain rack for the latest vinyl releases.You’ll also remember mix tapes and spending hourslooking through your friend’s record collectiondiscussing, sharing and discovering thoughts and ideas.For youth growing in the 90s, when music moved fromCDs to digital, all of that social benefit found in theactivities that surrounded record and tape sharing wassuddenly lost. How could we lounge around their 37    
  39. 39.  backrooms poking through their record collections whenit was all stored on the hard drive of their computers?As marketers and brands seek to further optimize andmonetize their products, they inevitably make themincreasingly unsocial. CDs cost money to produce,whereas the variable cost of a digital file costs nothing.It’s at this juncture that youth seek to reclaim the lostsocial benefit of any given tool. We’ve seen how youthevolve and hack tools from memes to simple everydayobjects, and later on, we’ll explore how embracing thisbehavior is the key to long-term survival and relevanceof your brand.For now, however, consider how youth reclaim socialtools that have become unsocial, and how they’ve madethese tools relevant again.Why is this generation lining up to buy analoguewatches? Why is the most popular camera app on themobile phone the one which filters your photos to looklike they were captured using a 1970s Polaroid? Whydo young people watch less TV, but text more about itscontent? Why did mobile TV never take off?When TV loses its social relevance, as with all theseexamples, young people find ways to take TV “out ofthe box.” Seventy two percent of youth in the UKdiscuss TV via their mobile phone and with friendswhile watching, according to Digital Clarity. Youngpeople reclaim tools that were made efficient and boringby brands, agencies and marketers, and young peoplemake them social once again. We can avoid being 38    
  40. 40.  boring by enhancing the social experience of ourproducts and brands, instead of its technologicalexperience.The humble pushbike is, to many, simply a form oftransport. Yet for the young people of Jakarta who workwith Faisal Muhammad at Youthlab, it’s also a SocialSpace. As cycling becomes the preserve of middle agedmen dressed in Lycra - the kind that can afford $4,000for a bike and as much again to keep it on the road,young people turn to low-tech solutions. Instead ofgoing for any old low-tech pushbikes, the young peoplein Jakarta go after fixed gear bikes (or “fixies” in theyouth vernacular) stripped of breaks and gear rings andpainted bright colors to signify membership to the tribe.As Faisal and friends cycle through the crowded,polluted streets of Jakarta the megacity, observers see agroup of young people having a bit of fun. However,the informed will see a group activists reclaiming SocialSpace from the seemingly unstoppable march ofurbanization and the blandness of middle-age. It’s ameme that started way back in LA with the scraper bikecraze when a group of young residents felt similarlyoverwhelmed and powerless in the face of theCalifornian sprawl.Young people don’t want better Content—faster, highertech, cooler, greater bandwidth or richer media—theywant more Context; a better social experience.Anything can be a social tool as long as you’re open toits social reality. 39    
  41. 41.  The  2  Key  Drivers  of  Youth  Behavior:  Ashton’s  Story  “I live in a small town called Miles," says Ashton. "Itsa farming community and there is only like, 800 peoplein the town."Ashton is almost right. There are 762 people in Milesaccording to official records. Despite its minute size,Miles perhaps embodies the American dream. It wascarved out from the earth with the toil of early settlerswho pioneered the new lands in the late 19th Century.Families like the Wrights—Ashtons descendants whoarrived here in 1889 to break in 640 acres of farmingland. One hundred and twenty years later, little haschanged.While a new wave of settlers from south of the borderhave set up their own homesteads, Miles still remainspredominantly a farming community with farmingvalues. Being an 18 years old girl growing up in Miles,like in any town in todays global village, has its ownunique challenges. Miles is "old." The average age ofthe town population is twice that of Ashton’s, higherthan national and state averages. Take a walk aroundthe loosely collected stores that constitute the towncenter and youll struggle to find a skate park, night clubor mall hangout.Town highlights, according to its website, include thelibrary, the county jail, the "Rumley Tractor" (a 909Advanced Rumley tractor, which sits along U.S. 40    
  42. 42.  Highway 67, weighs 24,470 pounds and has a maximumspeed of 2½ miles per hour) and the rather curious “RedBrick Road.”When town sources tell you that Miles Texas is "namedafter Jonathan Miles (cattleman and railroad contractor)who had donated $5,000 to a fund for an extension of arailroad track" you begin to form a better picture of howgrowing up in this small town is going to be.Welcome to Miles, Runnels County—the town youveprobably never heard of. Which is unfortunate, becauseit is in towns like Miles where a new way of doingbusiness is done.This isnt a story about Miles, however. Its a storyabout about Ashton. In fact, you could even say that itsa story about them, or us.Ashtons story is not unique. We’ve all grown up in"small towns" defined by our young mentality, our senseof marginalization and striving to reach out to the globaldiaspora of youth that existed tantalizingly in skatemagazines, fashion blogs, Hype Beast or hip hop videos.Weve all experienced the yearning for the big city lightsto the sheer joy of those first few days at college whenwe, released from the geographical constraints of ourupbringing, discovered there were people out there justlike us. We weren’t so strange after all.Ashton Wright is the voice of a generation—a teenagerseeking communion with the wider youth diaspora buttrapped by the geographical choices of her parents. 41    
  43. 43.  Ashton is a teenager that wants to belong, who wants tobe significant.Miles, Texas could be anywhere in the world. It couldbe the bustling backstreets of Harajuku Dori or thefavelas of Sao Paulo. It is wherever young people arethe disaffected. These are individuals who have yet tofind their place in the world. These are individuals whoare trying desperately to unravel the layers of childhoodto find their role in society."I am the only one that rides in my town, so I have toride by myself a lot. Rodeo is really big here, so a lot ofpeople in my town think that racing dirt bikes is easyand stupid," says Ashton, perhaps unwittingly speakingfor an entire generation of youth growing up bothmisunderstood and marginalized by their elders. 

Ashton Wright is your regular American college kid—18 years old with a healthy obsession for the outdoorlife. Marketers see PowerPoint presentations that beginwith stock photos of skateboarders in high-five posesand patronizing broad-brush statements about how youthlove social media, games and self-expression. But whatmost marketers didnt know is that Ashton is a rising starin her own Universe. This isnt the known Universe of"ordinary" marketing to youth, typified by cleveradvertising campaigns, focus group "insights" and high-visibility sponsorship. This Universe is brought intobeing by a new generation of youth brands emergingfrom obscurity to the big time, from niche to dominatingthe mass, and from being an interesting intellectualdiversion to a threat to the established order. 42    
  44. 44.  Pepsi  vs.    Monster  Energy  -­‐  A  Comparison  of  Approaches   Pepsi Monster EnergyPhilosophy Content ContextMarketing High-visibility Build Permission Advertising Assets “Monster Army”Planning Serial, Based Cyclical, Ongoing around campaignsFocus Youth Extreme sports amateursApproach Tell Pepsi Story Build asset to help “Pepsi young people tell Generation” their storiesStars Celebrities: Fans Britney, Beyoncé, Pink, Lady Gaga, etc.Brand Logo, website, Conversations,equity campaigns, community heritage, can designHow is Manufactured Curating ContextContext through built by customerscreated? advertising 43    
  45. 45.  Hansen Natural Corp—owner of the Monster Energydrinks line—is no ordinary company. In fact, itsprobably a brand youve never heard of. But this is acompany that is more profitable per employee thanApple. The company is growing its earnings at 9% perannum, while keeping a debt-to-asset ratio of 0.1% (ie.all their cash is their own). All this, despite sitting in themiddle of the deepest consumer economic recession thisside of the War. Being ordinary, has never been therecipe behind this energy drinks success.One reason youve probably never heard of Monster isbecause youre not 18 years old and you dont live inMiles, Texas. Not that Monster has any geographicalpresence there. It’s just a place where one of theirstories is being told. And heres the rub—this is acompany that doesnt advertise.In fact, the deeper we dive into the world of youthmarketing the more we’ll find that when it comes tosuccess and failure of youth brand, advertising plays buta cameo role.The real pivot points aren’t media choices, but choicesin mindset. Hansen is no niche brand. With $3 billionin market cap you could consider it as a major player,but its not playing by the major league rules. ForHansen, the first rule they were going to breaksuccessfully was the rule of brand management: thatyour reputation residing in your corporate assets. Thelogo, the advertising, the PR and the website—meantvery little to this generation. None of these assets create 44    
  46. 46.  Context. If Hansen was going to redefine the market, ithad to start redefining the rules by which success wasdefined. And where its competitors had investedbillions in high-visibility mass marketing campaigns,Monster was going to convert its customers one at atime. Ashton is no "customer," she is a fan—a devotedpaid up member of the Monster tribe known as theMonster Army. This 18 years old from Miles, Texas isa rising motocross star and, at the time of writing, isfeatured in the "November Soldier Spotlight" forMonsters burgeoning Army website. Army, in thisinstance, means army of fans—one million of them—allparticipating in a community that gives them all arespective voice.Ashtons story is intriguing. Not only is she a relativeunknown in the eyes of traditional marketers whoseworldview is largely shaped by the "findings" of a focusgroup, but also she is an anomaly in the world ofmotocross—she is a girl."I think in some cases being a girl has its advantagesover a guy. But guys can make a living at this sport; Ithink eventually it will get that way for the women too.Especially with awesome women riders we have outthere today,” she says.Ashton is an awesome rider whose story is able toinspire and motivate a generation of would-be Ashtons.Her profile on Monster Army is testament to the site’sability to support this generation of wannabes. 45    
  47. 47.  Without the Monster Army, members like Ashton andMacca would have one less tool to achieve significanceand belonging. A brand is only as powerful as the socialbenefit its customers can derive from it and from thebrand’s platform. Nobody’s espousing the benefits ofMonster; they are broadcasting their own stories withMonster’s help."Regular Man, None of This Goofy Shit!" explainsMacca of his style "As Long As It Makes the Boys JawsDrop and the Girls Skirts Drop, I’m Styling It!"Marcomms would cringe. Consumer insights managerswould gloss over the data. This didn’t fall into the “4Ps”—or whatever they’re called now—and the “socialmedia strategy.” Almost everybody would ignore thetruth that for Macca at least, this flavored sugarybeverage was a Social Tool. Everybody, that is, exceptyou, because you know that the product’s Content issecondary to the Context it creates.Almost everybody would have missed a trick becausethey were focused on the Content instead of the Context.Most marketers would focus on how to make this sodabeverage cool, instead of how to connect people likeMacca. And that’s where so much youth marketinggoes wrong. It becomes more about the brand and lessabout what young people do every day in their lives.How can you help me belong?How can you help me be significant? 46    
  48. 48.  If you can answer these questions—questions about the2 key drivers of youth behavior—about your productsand brand, then the fact you are a nondescript sodabeverage, a cheese manufacturer or a businessman’sphone become irrelevant to the fact that anything, withthe right amount of young people and hacking, becomesa social tool in its own right. Applying Social Thinkingin the real world means developing deep insights intothe forces that shape their lives and supporting thestories people want to tell about themselves, rather thaninterrupting them with tales of celebrities and imagesthat make them feel inadequate.Real marketing is about understanding the lives ofpeople like Ashton Wright. She is no focus group, nobrand ambassador, intern or campus advocate engagedin a brand marketing program to boost her resumecredits. She’s just a regular teenager who wants to tellher story."Glad to See More Beautiful Girls Out There BangingBars, Loving It!" says Macca. But Maccas no ordinarygroupie. He’s a 17 years old skater from MaryboroughAustralia for whom "life is great" and time is spent"nailing those tricks.”Maryborough—a small town in the middle of nowherein the middle of Australia. News travels fast andMonster isnt even advertising in Australia. 47    
  49. 49.  Key  Questions  for  Youth  Marketers  • What Social Tools are my young customers using?• How do I help my customers use their Social Tools instead of hijacking them?• What kinds of Social Space are my customers looking for?• How do I help youth tell their stories, without making it “just another ad?”• What can my brand do to help youth belong and be significant?• What can my brand do in the next 30 days to start applying Social Thinking in its marketing? 48    
  50. 50.   More  from  the   Youth  Marketing   Handbook   …  3. Paid vs. Earned Media The Attention Economy Pay Attention Earned Media From Open to Discerete Network4. Fans vs. Customers Fanspotting Uniting the Diaspora Brands, Fans and Customers Everyone has Fans Liked vs. Loved Building Beachheads: Influencing the Influencers 49    
  51. 51.  5. Brand Management vs. Brand Democracy We are the Media now New Media Business as Usual Marketing to vs. Marketing with From One-to-One to Many-to-Many: Open Source Culture Learning to Stand Back Jared: his story6. Top Down vs. Bottom Up Innovation Experience vs. Expertise The Monorail The Spirit of Jugaad Facebook vs. MySpace: A tale of Two Cultures What if I’m not Google or Facebook? Why “Youth Marketing Strategy” is a Myth From Innovation to Curation Letting GoThe Crazy Ones   50    
  52. 52.    Get  your  copy  today!     Youth  Marketing  Handbook  on   Amazon.com     Youth  Marketing  Handbook  PDF   51