(mobileYouth) Chapter 2. Design vs. Social Thinking: The Youth Marketing Handbook


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The second chapter of the ultimate 125 page marketing and innovation guide for Youth Marketers written by mobileYouth lead authors: Graham Brown, Josh Dhaliwal, Freddie Benjamin and Ghani Kunto. Available for free download as PDF

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(mobileYouth) Chapter 2. Design vs. Social Thinking: The Youth Marketing Handbook

  1. 1. Chapter 2
  2. 2. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comCopyright© 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 2
  3. 3. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.com Design Thinking vs. Social Thinking What wins you award won’t necessarily win you customers When youth break your product, do you see a threat or an opportunity to improve? 3
  4. 4. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comSocial ToolsTake a walk along the Rhine River in Cologne andyou’ll   find   an   iron   bridge   that   runs   across   to   the   city’s  ancient cathedral. As you cross the bridge, you’ll   also  discover 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 phenomenonswere 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  a  city near you. They  are  called  “lovelocks”  because  the  lovers 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. 4
  5. 5. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comGeneration OBy 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’ll  eventually age out. Make  sure  you  don’t  have  Gen  Y  in  your company or job title, lest you too will be draggedinto irrelevancy.Second,   you   have   to   be   careful   about   what   you’re  communicating 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 5
  6. 6. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comSocial 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   understand  youth, 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 6
  7. 7. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.commobile phones and technologies. The less obvious arethe more revealing—soda brands, shoes and even theirrelationships with government. As  we’ll  discover  in  this  book,   this   current   crop   of   youth   haven’t   changed   from  their forebears. They’ve  simply  gained  access  to  more  tools. 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   Inquisitr  magazine   “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   to  Planking 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? 7
  8. 8. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comPlanking hit the headlines in 2011 when a youngBrisbane  man  in  his  20s  fell  from  his  building’s  balcony  in 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 8
  9. 9. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comthrone 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  $1.5  million  ad  campaign  “Life  is  For  Sharing”  at LiverpoolStreet station, which won an award for their agencySaatchi, did nothing to increase T-Mobile’s  loyalty  rates  from being the lowest in the industry in UK. We’ve  seen advertisements placed by creative agencies seekingto recruit flash mobbers 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  share  a photo of a municipal building—a water-tank or someother obscure concrete monolith structure—and invite 9
  10. 10. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.commembers to speculate on how an army of zombies wouldattack 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   a  reconnaissance 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   10
  11. 11. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comenamored by this half-cat half-pop-tart creation. They’re  simply taking meaningless objects and using them toconnect with likeminded people out there.Social ThinkingAs 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   many  examples 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  is  King”   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   great  design and technology, it’s   also   the   result   of   years  building grass roots activism among fans, youth,teachers and families from the Apple Camps in store tothe Youth Workshops. Apple knew that building an 11
  12. 12. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comarmy 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 ofPhilosophies Design Thinking Social ThinkingOrigin Logic EmotionOutput Content ContextActivity Creation DiscoveryFocus Product, Features, People, Benefits Benefits of the Benefit 12
  13. 13. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comOrganization 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 albumsSocial SpaceWhen 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 13
  14. 14. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comcongregated on Bayview, some decided they wouldcheck-in to local landmarks that were simply listed byanonymous creators as  “Riots”  in the app. To some, it’s  a 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  “find  a  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,   join  Prathamesh. He needs people to move the blast victims 14
  15. 15. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comto 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 SpacesExample 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 15
  16. 16. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comWeibo 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 16
  17. 17. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comReclaimedNot 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   collection  discussing, 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 17
  18. 18. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.combackrooms 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   lost  social benefit of any given tool. We’ve  seen  how  youth  evolve and hack tools from memes to simple everydayobjects, and later on, we’ll  explore  how  embracing  this  behavior 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  made  these 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   of  the   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 18
  19. 19. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comboring 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   Social  Space. 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   the  youth 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   a  meme 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  to  its social reality. 19
  20. 20. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comThe 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. 20
  21. 21. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comHighway 67, weighs 24,470 pounds and has a maximumspeed  of  2½  miles  per  hour)  and  the  rather  curious  “Red  Brick 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. 21
  22. 22. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comAshton 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. 22
  23. 23. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comPepsi vs. Monster Energy - A Comparison ofApproaches 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 23
  24. 24. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comHansen 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   to  success and failure of youth brand, advertising plays buta cameo role.The   real   pivot   points   aren’t   media   choices,   but   choices  in 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 24
  25. 25. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comContext. 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. 25
  26. 26. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comWithout 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   “4  Ps”—or whatever   they’re called now—and the   “social  media 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   marketing  goes 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? 26
  27. 27. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comIf 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’s  phone 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  tell  her 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. 27
  28. 28. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comKey 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? 28
  29. 29. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.com Download The Youth Marketing Handbook from http://YouthMarketingHandbook.com 29
  30. 30. THE MOBILEYOUTH 2013 REPORT youth marketing insights for handset brands, content providers and operators features: 29 reports 400+ pages data, charts, cases mobileYouth: tracking youth & mobile culture since 2001 MOBILEYOUTH youth marketing mobile culture since 2001
  31. 31. THE MOBILEYOUTH 2013 REPORThttp://www.mobileyouth.org MOBILEYOUTH youth marketing mobile culture since 2001
  32. 32. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.comAbout the Authors Graham Brown has spent his life living and working in both London and Tokyo. A psychology graduate, Graham has focused his marketing career on understanding what influences consumerbehavior a field in which he is due to publish his firstbook in early 2011.As well as speaking at industry conferences on thesubject of young consumers, Graham has appeared onCNBC, Sky News, CNN and BBC as well as in printwith the FT, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal and TheSunday Times. Freddie Benjamin is the Research Manager at mobileYouth. He has prior experience in research and analysis of consumer behavior from US and Asia markets. He masters quantitative andqualitative research methods, design and ethnographicresearch. He is the co-author of the four partmobileYouth report 2011. 30
  33. 33. http://www.YouthMarketingHandbook.com Ghani Kunto is the Business Development Manager for Asia at mobileYouth. He has been involved in the world of youth marketing and education since 2007. He hosted anumber of business talk shows in television and radio.Ghani has ran workshop on marketing in variouscountries in Asia. He currently teaches ConsumerBehavior for Asian Banking Finance Institute in Jakarta,IndonesiaContact UsJosh Dhaliwal, Directorjosh.dhaliwal@mobileYouth.orghttp://www.twitter.com/joshdhaliwalUK/Europe: +44 203 286 3635North America: +1 646 867 3635South Africa: +27 11 08 3635 1You can find out more about our work onmobile and youth research onhttp://www.mobileYouth.org 31