!!!    We need to move from viewing youth as    destinations for our marketing messages        to treating them as partner...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Copyright© 2011 by mobileYouthAll rights reserved. No part of this document may bereproduced o...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Introduction!by!Graham!Brown!Selling to youth is easy, very easy.In fact, whether you are sell...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Yes, you’re reading this book, so you’re already in theselect few. You are part of the 5% who ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Academy. Through their journeys, I’ve learned criticallessons in how brand culture needs to be...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!They are your customers, your colleagues, your bossesand your partners. They are not getting i...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!In the Youth Marketing Handbook, we will share withyou that ammunition, those stories and tool...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!                 !                 !                 !           1.!CONTENT!!           vs!CON...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!People!Drink!the!Can,!Not!the!Soda!There’s a marketing story told by both Seth Godin andDan Ar...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!You see, people aren’t simply buying a product. Theybuy the whole social package. This is the ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Advertisers call this “what stuff does for us” the “benefitof the benefit.” That means we have...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!It’s difficult, admittedly.We become engrossed in the world of product andContent. We discuss ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!advertising agencies justify their existence to clients:pay us money, we’ll deliver great Cont...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!anything new. They are simply repackaging existingrecipes in a format that helps people believ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!saying they were able to pay RMB20,000 to buy akidney.”Perhaps the sad twist in the tale is Zh...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!This student took part in an intriguing research studythat challenged young people to live 24 ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!seemed to fully understood that these things were justthe another object on the Content carous...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!These tools help create structure for these interactions.That’s why their highest appeal appli...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!evolution of the Context that young boys had beenplaying with for generations--trading cards, ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Great products don’t come with a rulebook, so don’twrite one for yours.We simply make the tool...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!As you get older you become more confident about yourdecisions and identity, but when you’re a...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Marc Kornberger’s Student Village in South Africaoften finds that students who work on their c...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!!!                !     2.!Design!Thinking!     vs.!Social!Thinking!     What wins you awards ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Social!Tools!Take a walk along the Rhine River in Cologne andyou’ll find an iron bridge that r...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Generation!O!By the time you read this book, you’ll be on toGeneration Z. What would marketers...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Social need      Large and growing       Small and                                         dec...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!mobile phones and technologies. The less obvious arethe more revealing—soda brands, shoes and ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Planking hit the headlines in 2011 when a youngBrisbane man in his 20s fell from his building’...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!throne that included the upstart Owling. It was also atthis point that creative agencies start...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!members to speculate on how an army of zombieswould attack and overpower the structure.Insane?...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!enamored by this half-cat half-pop-tart creation. They’resimply taking meaningless objects and...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!army of fans would take a generation, so it set to workon its K12 education policy back in the...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Organization       Top-down,              Bottom-up,                   Centralized            ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!congregated on Bayview, some decided they wouldcheck-in to local landmarks that were simply li...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!to hospital,” adds one user. “Can give Blood B+vegroup,” adds another based in Goregaon East.M...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Weibo        Instant          Chinese        In responsesingles      Photo group      youth tu...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Reclaimed!Not a day goes by without someone—usually on thewrong side of 35 years old—in the In...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!backrooms poking through their record collections whenit was all stored on the hard drive of t...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!boring by enhancing the social experience of ourproducts and brands, instead of its technologi...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!The!2!Key!Drivers!of!Youth!Behavior:!Ashton’s!Story!“I live in a small town called Miles," say...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Highway 67, weighs 24,470 pounds and has a maximumspeed of 2½ miles per hour) and the rather c...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Ashton is a teenager that wants to belong, who wants tobe significant.Miles, Texas could be an...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Pepsi!vs.!!Monster!Energy!R!A!Comparison!of!Approaches!               Pepsi               Mons...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Hansen Natural Corp—owner of the Monster Energydrinks line—is no ordinary company. In fact, it...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Context. If Hansen was going to redefine the market, ithad to start redefining the rules by wh...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Without the Monster Army, members like Ashton andMacca would have one less tool to achieve sig...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!If you can answer these questions—questions about the2 key drivers of youth behavior—about you...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Key!Questions!for!Youth!Marketers!•   What Social Tools are my young customers using?•   How d...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!               !               !               !      3.!Paid!vs.!Earned!!            Media!  ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!The!AttentionEconomy!During ideation seminars, we often show marketingexecs a video designed b...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!and keeping brand managers happy at the Cannes after-parties but is it really doing its job? Y...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!but secretly we will be thinking, “Where’s the one withme in it?”Yes, as much as we’d like to ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!and Levi’s engineered fit. All of these are really good,but are they relevant? You see, the re...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!branded ad hoardings. Even when brands are on socialmedia, more often than not it’s paid media...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!              big is the              budget?Formats       Advertising,       Recommendation, ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!We can no longer buy youth attention, we have to earnit.From!Open!to!Discrete!Networks!As Face...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Youth aren’t fleeing Facebook they are simply turningfrom Open to Discrete networks.          ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Key!Questions!for!Youth!Marketers!•   Is my marketing budget geared towards getting    attenti...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!                      !                      !                      !                 4.!Fans!...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Fanspotting!If your young customers “like” you be afraid, be veryafraid.When Trevor Moran hit ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!teach us is about the key distinction between fans andcustomers.Trevor Moran is one individual...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Type             Followers;                Leaders; seek                 influenced by        ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!the time to make it to his local Apple Store. He doesn’tcare what those around him think when ...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!knows that from the 100,000 views Kevin hasaggregated on his Flickr stream of Barad-Dur, and t...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!The media industry was geared towards this model.Radio DJs were good friends of the record lab...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!software to choose he recommends Final Cut Express(an Apple product). Understanding the intric...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!in the quest for immediate results. If Lego startedadvertising how to build your own Barad-Dur...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!capture retailer shelf space and high visibility celebritieslike Titi Kamal posing in a provoc...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Liked!vs!Loved!We’ve ignored the inconvenient truth of marketing: ourwhole marketing careers w...
http://www.mobileYouth.org!!everybody, but the 9% that count. If they like you, youmight as well be invisible.When we firs...
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
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(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
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(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
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(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
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(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
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(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
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(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
(mobileYouth) The Youth Marketing Handbook
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(mobileYouth) The 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. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. http://www.mobileYouth.org!! ! ! ! 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. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 weredrinking before the taste test. The result? Four times asmany people said they preferred the taste of Coke. 8!!
  10. 10. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 yourrebellious 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. 9!!
  11. 11. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 during direct with the product, interaction with lasts way beyond the the product. end of product usage. 10!!
  12. 12. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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—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” helps 11!!
  13. 13. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!advertising 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?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 introducing 12!!
  14. 14. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!anything 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.“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 agent 13!!
  15. 15. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!saying 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 year old student from the UK had to live24 hours without his mobile phone he reported, “All Iwanted to do was pick up my phone and become a partof the human race again.” 14!!
  16. 16. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 year 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 whilemisguided, 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 one 15!!
  17. 17. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!seemed 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 year old Long Islander didn’t want to gocamping with his parents just as any 15 year 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, butwherever 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. 16!!
  18. 18. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 8year old boys 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 aproduct, use the technology to enhance existingbehaviors instead of creating new ones. In Pokémon’scase, the game was no more than a technological 17!!
  19. 19. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!evolution 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 areuniversal and simple enough to allow youth to invest increating Context around them. 18!!
  20. 20. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 theneed to justify emotional behavior with logical post-rationalization. This justification is particularlyprevalent in youth, especially when answering in groups. 19!!
  21. 21. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 thenetwork who want to work with you. These arerelationships you can nurture over years. 20!!
  22. 22. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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?• 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? 21!!
  23. 23. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!!! ! 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? 22!!
  24. 24. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. 23!!
  25. 25. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 24!!
  26. 26. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 25!!
  27. 27. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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? 26!!
  28. 28. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 27!!
  29. 29. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 28!!
  30. 30. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 29!!
  31. 31. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 30!!
  32. 32. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 31!!
  33. 33. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 32!!
  34. 34. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 33!!
  35. 35. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 34!!
  36. 36. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 35!!
  37. 37. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 36!!
  38. 38. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 37!!
  39. 39. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. 38!!
  40. 40. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 year 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. 39!!
  41. 41. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. 40!!
  42. 42. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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. 41!!
  43. 43. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Pepsi!vs.!!Monster!Energy!R!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 42!!
  44. 44. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 43!!
  45. 45. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 year old from Miles, Texas is arising 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. 44!!
  46. 46. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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? 45!!
  47. 47. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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 year 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. 46!!
  48. 48. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!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? ! 47!!
  49. 49. http://www.mobileYouth.org!! ! ! ! 3.!Paid!vs.!Earned!! Media! In youth marketing, attention is your biggest cost What youth say about your brand is now far more important than what we say The traditional marketing model was born of an era when youth trust and attention were abundant 48!!
  50. 50. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!The!AttentionEconomy!During ideation seminars, we often show marketingexecs a video designed by Transport for London whichtasks viewers to count the number of passes thebasketball team in white make in 30 seconds. Mostpresentation attendees get it right. However, less than5% ever “see” what’s going on in the presentation. Aswe rewind the video, we ask “did you see theMoonwalking Bear?” and to their disbelief, mouths wideopen, when we replay the video, they saw man in a bearoutfit moonwalking across the scene as basketballplayers pass the ball between them. How on earth didthey miss it?To understand requires a better appreciation of how thebrain works—we don’t actually “see” as our perceptionis highly focused. In layman’s terms it’s called focus.When you’re driving down the road on the school runyou don’t actually “see” that cyclist even though shewas patently there in front of your eyes. So, how doesthis also apply to youth marketing?A whole industry is based on the fundamentalassumption that youth attention is abundant—simplyisn’t true anymore. By the age of 15, the averageAmerican will have seen 75,000 marketing messages.When exposed to this level of information bombardingyou on a daily basis, you get pretty good at ‘gating’ itout. In fact, scientists tell us that we only actually “see”5% of the stimuli our brain receives at any one time—begs the question “what’s happening to 95% of ourmarketing?” Sure, it’s picking up awards along the way 49!!
  51. 51. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!and keeping brand managers happy at the Cannes after-parties but is it really doing its job? Young people maybe “aware” of your product but are they payingattention. Awareness means nothing. When was the lasttime you bought a Cadillac?The Moonwalking Bear is a useful analogy for so muchof our youth marketing--it may be cool, fun and highlyvisible but are young people actually “seeing” it? If not,as the data indicates, you might as well take yourmarketing budget and flush the lot down a big blackhole because in youth marketing today, attention is yourbiggest cost. That’s right, start considering attention asa major cost factor in your marketing activity and alsostart with the assumption that 95% of what you do issimply invisible no matter how “visible” it appears toyou on the inside. For many brand and marketingmanagers this may hurt but you cannot unwrite theinternal programming of young people’s brains yousimply have to work within the parameters you’re given.So, the question is, how do we get in to the 5%?That sweet spot is the holy grail of youth marketing butit doesn’t require a lengthy and perilous quest--theanswer is right there before your eyes. See how peoplebehave on Facebook and you get a better picture of whatgetting into that 5% means. It’s like in the old dayswhen we used to share holiday snaps (you rememberthose analogue ones that came in the photo pouchesalong with the negatives?). We would rifle through thepack; “It’s interesting, it’s interesting, it’s interesting,” 50!!
  52. 52. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!but secretly we will be thinking, “Where’s the one withme in it?”Yes, as much as we’d like to believe we are sociallyaware and altruistic, deep down our fundamentalmotivators are based on answering this key question:“Where am I in this story?”Just like the Facebook status updates and notifications,we’re really only interested in the stories that feature us.Google the Moonwalking Bear. Take the Test.Pay!Attention!Young customers don’t wake up thinking about yourbrands anymore. We do. We wake up in the brandworld, go to world in the brand’s office and sit aroundtalking about the brand all day. We are surprised tolearn that outside of that office, it isn’t like that. Oncewe have understood that, then we can continue.Perhaps one key youth marketing problem lies in ouruse of metaphors. We want youth to pay attention to ourmarketing messages. Think about that for a minute--Payattention. We are expecting youth to pay to listen to us.When attention becomes an increasingly scarcercommodity our assumptions become increasinglybroken.Old school youth marketing focuses on being good; findsomething really good about your product and amplifyit. You have Pepsi’s taste, SonyEricsson’s cameraphone 51!!
  53. 53. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!and Levi’s engineered fit. All of these are really good,but are they relevant? You see, the real youth marketinggame is not about clever, funny ad campaigns to tellyouth how good these things are. It is about creatingrelevance.Only 34% of US youth trust advertising. And evenwhen they do trust it, doesn’t mean they’re payingattention. What we are finding is that youth are turningoff from traditional advertising. Yes, they are “stillwatching TV” the TV networks tell us and “ads are stillthe best format for making youth aware of your brand”but none of these suppositions explain that 65% of youthbuy mobile handsets based on what their friends saidand 62% of 16-24 year olds cite “other 16-24 year olds”as the most influential medium when it comes to makingbrand or technology purchases.Isn’t it time we considered youth as media too?Earned!Media!Paid Media is the billions of dollars spent every year onmedia buys. It could be Facebook, it could be yourTelevision set--it’s all advertising content paid for bybrands and their agencies. When Pepsi wanted to raiseawareness with the younger generation it paid $25m forMichael Jackson to cut a remix of Billie Jean to thewords “You’re the Pepsi Generation.” When TVbecame less attractive as a media buy, Pepsi spentmillions plastering Times Square in New York with 52!!
  54. 54. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!branded ad hoardings. Even when brands are on socialmedia, more often than not it’s paid media.Earned Media is, however, what counts. Earned Mediagets young people to buy mobile handsets, start usingFacebook or buying a pair of Nikes. Earned Media iswhat you earn as a brand by being a brand worth talkingabout. Social Currency creates Earned Media. If youhelp youth tell their story, they’ll indirectly talk aboutyou. If you tell your own story, they’ll simply ignoreyou.When Red Bull set up the Red Bull Music Academy itwasn’t selling fizzy soda--it was cultivating EarnedMedia by training a generation of youth to go out andbroadcast their own story. By backing the rising stars oftomorrow, Red Bull knew that it would indirectlygenerate Earned Media. Every time an Academygraduate’s story was retold in the media and in dailyconversations it carried a ticket called Red Bull.Paid!vs.!Earned!Media:!A!Comparison! Paid Media Earned MediaMindset What is our Who are our fans? Unique Selling What do they like Proposition? about us? How are Which media they using our channel should products? How do we we use? What connect our fans with can we say each other? through social media? How 53!!
  55. 55. http://www.mobileYouth.org!! big is the budget?Formats Advertising, Recommendation, social media education, discovery marketing, PRApproach Big budget for Long-term relationship big ideas, based building; enables on campaigns; Context building sells ContentStrengths Easily Works even while accessible by you’re sleeping; the masses; increasing returns with established decreasing operating metrics, easy to cost over the long control the term; received with message; higher amount of trust; increases brand personalized message; awareness influences preferences and behaviorsWeaknesses Mostly ignored Difficult to control; by the masses; harder to measure in simplified the short term; harder message; to justify to senior increasing cost members to maintain the same level of awareness 54!!
  56. 56. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!We can no longer buy youth attention, we have to earnit.From!Open!to!Discrete!Networks!As Facebook valuations started to make Google lookcheap by comparison, news began to trickle out into thepress that maybe, just maybe, Facebook had peaked.The Financial Post led with “Why teens are fleeingFacebook” stating that despite the network’s “meteoricrise,” the prospect that it may be slowing down was “avery difficult idea to digest.” Perhaps, they speculate,the root cause of the slowdown is a potential exodus ofteens from a Social Space now occupied by theirparents, teachers and future employers.No data is provided to support the speculation, althoughnumerous press articles wade in on the possibility.In reality, teens aren’t fleeing Facebook, they’re justfleeing marketers and intrusive journalists on Facebook.When young artist Brian Lobel decided to cull hisFacebook friends list, he turned the decision into apublic event. Nobel toured London to involve youngurbanites in the voting process that decided who stayedand who was culled winning the sympathy of generationwho, too, realized they had more “friends” than theyreally had friends and whittling the number down to amanageable level was actually a good idea. 55!!
  57. 57. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Youth aren’t fleeing Facebook they are simply turningfrom Open to Discrete networks. Increasingly,Facebook comes to mirror real life connectivity.Relationships in the offline world cost time and money,so we limit them at our individual comfort levels. Whenfriends on Facebook are “free,” we grab as many as wecan. Except, they are not free. We found out thatfriending T-Mobile and Coke actually cost our attention--we had to listen to their brand monologues.As youth turn to Discrete networks they shut outmarketers, and social networking eventually gravitatestowards its offline base-level. Marketers fret aboutFacebook’s decline by highlighting the teen exodus, butfail to realize that their quarries are still there. They’resimply networking behind closed doors--as they do inthe real world (in the park, back rooms, in clubs andoutside the campus library).Open!vs!Discrete!Networks:!A!Comparison! Open Network Discrete NetworkNetwork BBM, SMS, BBM Groups,Type Facebook, Facebook behind Twitter privacy settings, SkypeOccurrence New technology Educated usersAppearance Large, chaotic, Small, ordered, public invisibleMembership Open, random, Closed, real-world, inclusive exclusive 56!!
  58. 58. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Key!Questions!for!Youth!Marketers!• Is my marketing budget geared towards getting attention or getting customers?• What can my brand do to win my customer’s Earned Media?• What can I do to ensure my Paid Media (advertising, etc) does not get in the way of my Earned Media?• How much of my Paid Media budget can I reassign to develop Earned Media? 57!!
  59. 59. http://www.mobileYouth.org!! ! ! ! 4.!Fans!vs.! Customers! If your customers like you, be afraid be very afraid Your whole marketing career you focused on getting customers to like you when all along you ignored the inconvenient truth of the fans who already loved you We shouldn’t be asking “how do we engage them?” but asking “how do we break down the walls that prevent them from engaging us?” 58!!
  60. 60. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Fanspotting!If your young customers “like” you be afraid, be veryafraid.When Trevor Moran hit the Apple Store on FifthAvenue New York in the Christmas of 2009 he wasn’tlike the thousands of customers who regularly beat thepath to find the latest MacBooks and iPhones, lookingfor presents for the holiday season. Trevor was lookingto record the latest episode in his story. Trevor Moranis like most 12 year old kids seeking to mastertechnology to help them communicate with a widerplaying field but this 12 year old has a unique talent.Trevor is better known as iTrevor and when hecommunicates from the Apple Store he does it throughregular video updates of in-store dancing. This weekit’s to the backbeat of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” nextit’s Will.i.am. He’s throwing shapes and freaking out infront of the in-store MacBook webcam as bemusedcustomers and staff look on. Some ignore Trevor with awry smile, “oh, it’s that crazy kid again.” Some join infor the hell of it. Others including grumpy store staffask him to turn it down, or even shut it off.Apple sells more per square footage from its retail storesthan does the luxury retailer Tiffany’s. These aren’tdiamonds and pearls but gadgets manufactured in China.According to recent data, Apple Store generates morevisitors in a quarter than the four biggest Disney themeparks put together. What the Apple brand and iTrevor 59!!
  61. 61. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!teach us is about the key distinction between fans andcustomers.Trevor Moran is one individual. He’s not Content forApple because he is not paid, and he is passionate aboutthe brand and its products. In fact, he rarely sells Appleitself except through indirect recommendation; Trevornever records his dances at Best Buy or on a Dell laptop.Every brand has fans, including yours. It’s just that youradvertising is drowning them out. These aren’t socialmisfits or freaks. They are often youth with passions--sometimes extreme, always unsatiated. In Trevor’scase, it’s the silver screen. He’s a wannabe actor.Apple is that vehicle for him to achieve his personal andsocial goals. Apple, therefore, isn’t a product, but a stepup to his life ambitions. This creates real brand loyalty.Could this happen at Best Buy? Maybe, if they knewwho their fans were. Would employees allow it tohappen, or would they try to shut him down?The last question is particularly indicative of how greatbrands aren’t the product of great strategies. They’reproducts of great cultures. Does the brand activelyencourage a culture of participation at the frontline, ordoes it see iTrevors as a nuisance?Customers!vs!Fans:!A!Comparison!!!!!!!! Customers FansMarket 91% 9%ShareShare of 35% 65%WoM 60!!
  62. 62. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Type Followers; Leaders; seek influenced by social currency to Fans’ behaviors influence the and preferences massesDrivers Consensus; social Significance; proof creativityProduct As demonstrated Break it; optimizeinteraction by Fans itBrand Like; buy Context Love; createrelationship ContextFind your fans, the rest is mere detail.Uniting!the!DiasporaKevin.J.Walter from the US is also a fan, but unlikeTrevor Moran, he has no pretensions about the world ofacting.For Kevin, however, his passion is far more tangible.Plastic bricks or to everyone else, simply Lego. Kevin’sclaim to fame is the building of a 2 meter high replica ofSauron’s tower, Barad Dur, from the book and movieLord of the Rings.The RegHardware reporting on Kevin writes “somepeople have too much time on their hands.” Well, unlikecustomers, fans always find the time to indulge theirpassions. Trevor always finds the time to perfect hisdance moves and lipsync to the latest sounds. He makes 61!!
  63. 63. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!the time to make it to his local Apple Store. He doesn’tcare what those around him think when he’s lettingloose in front of strangers. Kevin, similarly, is obliviousto criticism.For many “customers,” building a tower out of 50,000bricks and 2 months of your life is too geeky, too nerdyto consider. But for Kevin, it’s not just a passion, it’salso a social tool. The tower involved 15 people fromdifferent countries all who pitched in ideas and designsto help Kevin construct the final tower. They sharedtheir ideas on the website Mocpages--a home for Legofans to share their passions--under the project entitled“The Journey of the Fellowship” (referencing the wholeLord of the Rings saga) from Inn of the Prancing Ponycomplete with slate roof tiles to the fellowships journeythrough the Mines of Moria. Each created with love.As marketers, we have been trained to target the massrather than the extreme, because the extreme are too“out there” to be indicative of wider market needs. Theextreme, however, are exactly those who later influencethe market. Organic food, animal-free cosmetics,vegetarianism, environmentalism, skateboarding andeven the internet all began once as prerogatives of theextreme only now to become widely endorsed by thecore.Fans count because they place a greater emotionalattachment on the product. With a higher premiumplaced on getting it right, they are willing to investheavily in developing the product’s context--the socialpackaging that makes product appeal to all of us. Lego 62!!
  64. 64. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!knows that from the 100,000 views Kevin hasaggregated on his Flickr stream of Barad-Dur, and thenumerous meetups, and interest groups Kevinparticipates in with fellow enthusiasts, that offline socialinteraction--not plastic bricks--is why they do it. Andit’s here that brands learn what their business is reallyabout. In a world increasingly dominated by digitalinteraction, the plastic brick is an anomaly. How couldsomething so analog continue to grow in popularityacross populations, across borders?We live in an era of Fans. When you grew up, Fans hadto compromise. If you were a Lego fan, you would haveto hope that those in your immediate neighborhood andschool year were also Lego fans else you risk beingoutcast and bullied. Most would suck it up; play alongwith the mass. Today, however, you can indulge yourfantasies to your heart’s content. You don’t have tocompromise your fandom--you too can connect withother fans just like you around the world. You onlyneed to steer yourself to sites like Mocpages.Inside every customer is a fan. The question is, are youdividing or uniting these diasporas?Brands,!Fans!and!Customers!In the traditional model of youth marketing, there werejust brands and customers. If brands wanted to reachout to customers they had to hire an agency and commita lot of their hard earned cash on winning celebrityendorsement or developing clever and funny adcampaigns. 63!!
  65. 65. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!The media industry was geared towards this model.Radio DJs were good friends of the record labels.Magazine editors would regularly receive productsamples and so on. In this model, the lines of influencein the youth market were clearly defined and winningthe game simply became a decision about which agencyto hire to do the job rather than on the nature of themarketing strategy itself.Fast forward to the 21st century and the game changes;the lines of influence no longer exist. Sure, media willtell you TV still influences young people but comparedto what? Every media decision now needs to be arelative one. Advertising works, but compared to what?Is Advertising actually a better form of influence than,say, recommendation? Just because it works, doesn’tmean it’s right.In the world of digital diasporas, Fans are thegatekeepers. Trevor and Kevin may be 9% of yourmarket in terms of numbers but they comprise 65% ofits word-of-mouth. And given that two-thirds of youthpurchasing decisions are made on the basis ofrecommendation not advertising, it means that opinionsof this 9% influence the opinions of the remaining 91%.In short, if you don’t know who your fans are you’reonly operating at 35% capacity and that’s bad news.Consider the new media landscape as Brands-Fans-Customers. Fans have their own tribe which theyinfluence and lead. Trevor Moran is more motivated tobuild a following than Apple’s marketing managers are.When Trevor’s followers ask him on which editing 64!!
  66. 66. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!software to choose he recommends Final Cut Express(an Apple product). Understanding the intricate andsymbiotic relationship between the three is key to alsounderstanding how youth marketing works. This is nolonger about converting a market of customers to yourmessage but developing lines of influence in that marketby leveraging the fans.When Trevor Moran lamented the demise of a beef tacoat TacoBell via Twitter, TacoBell respondedimmediately informing him that it was, in fact, only alimited edition line. The conversation generatedcurrency within Trevor’s own following whocontributed and furthered the discussion. The net result?They are thinking about TacoBell again. The mistakebrands make today is trying to target customers directly.They aren’t listening. They’re only listening to Trevor.The good news is that brands can benefit from thisrelationship if used effectively. A brand can have ameaningful relationship with a small group of fans (aswith the Taco Bell incident) but will stretch its resourcesto the mass resulting in generic (read meaningless)communication.Nurturing fans and customers is like nurturing a garden;there is a natural order of things. Relationships taketime. Ghani Kunto recalls a story from his youth inPapua where town planners, frustrated with the progressof the local flora after felling the indigenous treesdecided to concrete over the space and paint it green.Sure, you’ve got results, but nobody gets passionateabout concrete. Similarly, advertising is taking afledgling garden and concreting over the conversations 65!!
  67. 67. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!in the quest for immediate results. If Lego startedadvertising how to build your own Barad-Dur chancesare Kevin and friends would find their own significanceand unique discovery compromised.Everyone!has!Fans!When we think of fans we think of teenagers gettingexcited about Nikes and BlackBerries after seeing thempromoted on hip hop videos. Hip hop has provided auseful line of influence to brands over the past decade--from promoting Courvoisier and Cristal spirits toEscalades. So, when underground rapper from Nigeria--J20--starts propping Indomie instant noodles fromIndonesia, you have to wonder if product placement hasperhaps taken a step to far.But this isn’t product placement, J20’s decision toeschew the benefits of Indomie’s best selling noodlebrand was purely a personal one--he liked the taste.“Tomorrow” says J20 “is 2 packets away.” Commentson the YouTube video range from disbelief to a wholehost of Indonesian supports who seize the opportunity toreinforce their noodle’s cultural superiority overwannabe rivals, to more personal attacks on the lessinformed commenters who ask “is it Malaysian?”Back home in Indonesia, Indomie continues to carve outits student base of fans. Rival Mie Sedap (literally“delicious noodle”) vies for attention by claiming abetter tasting noodle and deeper marketing pockets.When Indomie focused on building relationships withgrassroots fans in the student world, Sedap aimed to 66!!
  68. 68. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!capture retailer shelf space and high visibility celebritieslike Titi Kamal posing in a provocative angel costume.Ask any Indonesian student which noodle brand they’dbuy, the answer inevitably comes back “Indomie.”World over, student fans gravitate towards simplenoodle brands. In India, Nestle’s Maggi nurtures acommunity of its own. With over 450,000 likes onFacebook, fans like Devika Singh reveal their emotionalattachment to the brand stating “i love Maggi, i eat itevery day.” Like Indomie, Maggi and even Pot Noodlein the UK, there are brands out there that are continuingto grow its grass roots fan base, one customer at a time,by focusing on creating simple products that allow fansto share their stories. When Indonesian studentsrecommended the “internet” in the 90s they weren’ttalking about TCPIP based gadgets. They were talkingabout Indomie + Kornet (kornet in Indonesian iscorned/bully beef), an odd variation to the recipe thatstudents had created. In India, Maggi activelyencourages its fans to share recipes and connect witheach other over these ideas.The simplest products often have the most passionatefans. “Indomie” is Indonesian for “Indonesian noodle”.Simple meant brands stories didn’t get in the way offans stories. Simple meant the focus is on the fans notthe brands. 67!!
  69. 69. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!Liked!vs!Loved!We’ve ignored the inconvenient truth of marketing: ourwhole marketing careers we’ve been trying to get youthto like us, when all along we’ve ignored the fans whoalready loved us.Seth Godin uses the analogy “getting elected” and this iswhat youth marketing used to be like.If you were selling mobile phones, you’d want thebiggest possible market share. That’s no different togetting 51% of the votes and winning the seat.Traditional marketing can’t entertain the concept offocusing only on 9% of the electorate.In the 21st century, youth marketing has no longerbecome about getting elected. The guy with the mostvotes doesn’t win. In 2011, Nokia began to reportcrumbling market shares around the world and financialanalysts were quick to put the boot in, claiming thatNokia’s real troubles had yet to filter through to themarket. What their most pivotal failure was not thedecline of the brand but loss of fans. When 13 year oldsstart saying “Nokia? Meh…” in your research, youknow that Nokia has potentially another 10 years ofproblems feeding through the market.Some of our most common failures in youth marketinglie in failing to distinguish between “liked” and “loved.”Just because you liked a brand on Facebook doesn’tmean you’ll spend 2 months building something out ofits products. What counts today is being loved--not by 68!!
  70. 70. http://www.mobileYouth.org!!everybody, but the 9% that count. If they like you, youmight as well be invisible.When we first conducted field research on the liked vs.loved question for handset brands we found that 71% ofyouth “Liked” Nokia--the highest of all brands but whenit came to “Love,” they came behind Apple, BlackBerry,Samsung and SonyEricsson. In fact, it is the “Loved”brands that have fared the best in the 2 years we havebeen running the research. Back in 2009, Apple andBlackBerry accounted for less than 9% of the marketshare but they comprised 22% of industry revenues and62% of profits.In business sense, love really does make sense. Whenfans love you, your marketing dollars go a lot further.Your churn rate is lower and you are far more likely tohave receptive users when you launch new products.When a store employee asks Trevor Moran to turn themusic down he doesn’t engage in a negative PRcampaign assault against Apple, he sucks it up and givesthem the benefit of the doubt. When an airline losers apassenger’s guitar however, the whole world finds out.Building!Beachheads:!Influence!the!Influencers!"Everybody had a feeling something was going tohappen but nobody knew what...."For a brief moment, Chuck paused to reflect. Theaudience leaned forward in anticipation. Since his daysat Public Enemy he’s been out of the spotlight of 69!!

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