We live in an era where every brand is in a constant screaming
match with one another. “Look at us! We’re here! Hey listen!” Avoid
sounding like a broken record, quit trying to convince all tweens
who you are and why they should care. Instead, focus on smaller
segments with the highest likelihood of subscribing to your brand,
(or those who already do). These groups of young people have the
potential to build something even better with you -- and that’s
harnessing passion. Make tweens feel special and empower them
to influence those who aren’t listening to your brand.
DO YOU REALLY KNOW YOUR TWEEN AUDIENCE
SEGMENTS AND WHAT THEY CARE ABOUT MOST?
FOCUS ON SEGMENTS
1. TWEENS ARE A COMPLEX GROUP:
2. BE AUTHENTICFind your voice and use it to your advantage. Be personal and
relatable, so tweens have the opportunity to fall in love with your
brand on its own merit. Let’s say for instance, you really think that
people should “stop trying to make fetch happen” (ahem, Mean Girls
10th year anniversary), then say so! Having opinions and sticking
with them builds authenticity into your brand regardless of the
medium. Sharpening the focus on authenticity keeps hot tween
brands like Envy Scooters and puzzle app Dwarven Den relevant.
The same goes with established brands like MTV, Forever 21, and
McDonalds who, (grossly enough) have stayed in tune with tweens
for decades. Nostalgistic authenticity even drove the beloved Furby
toy's comeback with tweens.
WHAT UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS OF AUTHENTICITY
CAN YOUR BRAND LEVERAGE TO ATTRACT TWEENS?
MEME: DOGEMEME: DOGE
3. RESPECT THE POWER
Tweens aren’t driving themselves anywhere, yet they are driving
serious demand on product purchases, which creates many
challenges. Parents are the true buyers and determine where and
when tweens go shopping, brands need to simultaneously
connect with parents in order to close the loop and earn the big
bucks. In reality, tweens themselves only make an estimated 8%
of their purchases.
HOW IS YOUR BRAND CONNECTING WITH PARENTS
WHILE STAYING CONNECTED WITH TWEENS?
4. TRY LESS @MENTIONS
AND DEEPER ENGAGEMENT
It’s easy for distracted tweens to forget your brand, and fast! Think
about it, the average tween will see over 150,000 marketing
messages before they hit age 15. Successful brands realize the need
to start building meaningful connections with tweens that will last
well into their teendom. Invest time understanding what tweens in
your targeted segments are going through in life, discover their real
aspirations, and develop products and content they care about.
Better yet, co-create directly with tweens. Upcoming band R5 is a
great example of doing engagement right. They RT fans, tweet
directly to them, and frequently hold #AskR5’s (real-time Q&A). This
deeply fostered connection with their audience resulted in a fast
growing tween fan base, nearing 1 million followers in their first year.
HOW CAN YOUR BRAND FACILITATE THE DEEPER
LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT THAT TWEENS WANT?
5. EARN THEIR TRUST AND
GO FOR THE LONG HAULThis goes hand in hand with authenticity and is worth calling
out. Tweens can smell a half-baked endorsement from a 1,000
miles away. Let’s put this into perspective... Justin Bieber
endorsing “Party Pieces”, a resource for parents to plan parties
and shop online. In our opinion it's a big FAIL, just so obviously
not real. No different are the misguided brands leveraging action
sports with images of athletes flying through the air without
context. What about about One Direction & Beyoncé endorsing
Pepsi? SUCCESS! Why? They are larger than life and it all
emotionally connects. In the end, artists and athletes come and
go, but trust is forever. Whether you work with celebs or not, be
transparent and choose opportunities to earn consumer trust
over a flash in the pan campaign.
WHY PAY $$$ FOR A PHONY BOOST TODAY,
JUST TO FADE AWAY TOMORROW?
MEME: DOGEMEME: DOGE
6. LET TWEENS HAVE A SAY!
Everyone has an opinion, and tweens are just dying to have theirs
heard! Sure, you can just ask the typical “fluffy” stuff, but why not
try giving your audience a real voice? Popstar Magazine is a great
example of letting their tween fans impact the brand by inviting
them in and asking, “who would you like to see in next months
mag?”. Popstar wins, with direct insights into who is cool, and
HOW CAN YOU MAKE TWEENS A PART OF YOUR BRAND?
MEME: DOGEMEME: DOGEMEME: DOGE
7. ALLOW YOUR BRAND
Take the time to lay the groundwork. Today, so many brands want
to aggressively build a community overnight in order to propel
business growth. It's essential to realize that pouncing on
tweens in pushy ways will be ignored 9 times out of 10. Great
brands like GoPro, in reality are a "10-year overnight” success.
Commit to being in the right places, at the right times, and for the
long haul. Chances are, if your brand is good, it will be discovered.
TWEENS LOVE BEING FIRST ON THE
BRANDWAGON: HOW IS YOUR BRAND EMBRACING TWEENS
TO BE DISCOVERED
8. ENTERTAIN THE
Winning retailers create environments where tweens can play
around with products and make them feel like it’s their clubhouse
for the moment. Activate retail spaces with sensory overload.
Relevant music, vibrant colors, aromas, and loads of products:
that’s the combo that keeps tweens coming back for brands at
retail. Create experiences that engage, from in store events,
contests, product testing, and more. Always consider touch
points that connect the real world with mobile.
HOW IS YOUR BRAND CREATING INTERACTIVE
EXPERIENCES WITH TWEENS AND YOUR PRODUCTS?
SENSES AT RETAIL
9. “I WAS HERE BEFORE
Stay connected with your audience to find out what mobile apps
and social platforms are emerging. Experiment on new platforms
that fit your brand before they go mainstream, and test them. It
may even strike relevant conversations and generate content for
your existing social media platforms. Worse case scenario, your
brand stays in tune with tweens and learns a few valuable
lessons. If you have a good sense for what's cool and get lucky,
your brand might even be on the forefront of digital tweendom
before everyone else. Reminder: lock down usernames ASAP!
DOES YOUR BRAND EMPLOY A DIGITAL STRATEGY
OF EXPERIMENTATION? WHEN IT COMES TO TWEENS, YOU SHOULD.
IT WAS COOL”
10. AGE COMPRESSION
Tween consumers are becoming even more empowered, and
continue to seek interests that previously captivated late teens
and young adults. More than ever before they resist being treated
like kids, which is evolving rapidly with the exposure to media
content focused on older audiences. Streetwear, beauty, and
entertainment industries are in many ways benefiting from these
changes, yet toy brands and other industries reaching children
are faced with whole a new set of challenges.
HOW IS YOUR BRAND ADAPTING FOR THE NEXT
GENERATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE?
IMMERSIVE IS THE
cultivating brand relevance with young people.
Unlock the passion of tweens, teens, and young adults through
cohesive solutions that emotionally connect, inspire action, and
positively change behaviors. Some of the world's greatest brands
we work with, include; Qualcomm, Funny Or Die, Bravo Sports,
Polaroid, Hansen's Natural, Konami Digital Entertainment, Givit,
and Body Glove. Areas of expertise include; youth and parent
consumer insights, brand strategy, social media and mobile
technology, content marketing and experiential engagement.
YOUTH MARKETING AGENCY