5 Ekim 2012 Cuma

Communicating To The Young Consumer

They were born in 1980 and later.

They are more than eight million in Turkey.

They are a more self-confident, sociable and fun-loving generation.

Their transition to adulthood takes much longer than that of past young generations.

They are tough audience to communicate to. It is very tough to convert that communication into sales.

Their philosophy in life is Oscar Wilde’s statement: “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

It is for this cause that they use technology ruthlessly.

Their lives are surrounded with social networks, smart phones, computer games, Twitter, and Facebook.

Lately, Instagram and Tumblr, where they can share deeper content, have picked up speed in their lives.

They do not know a life without Internet.

They have long created their life ecosystems and parallel identities in the digital universe and have started living there.

They socialize and flirt with these unreal identities. They form unreal friend networks, share photos, brag, lie, gossip.

Everything is momentary. They want to be extremely popular at night. They are rebels. They refuse rules.

So how is this difficult audience to be reached?

Let’s begin by correcting a mistake.

Parents always talk about hope when talking about the young. “Our future, the young” is the most cliché of all sayings.

The young never mention hope when talking about themselves.

They reject the responsibility to carry the future and they find such statements too “cheesy”.

The young usually mention their fears when they talk about themselves.

The primary way of understanding the young is to understand their fears.

Ordinariness is their biggest fear. Fear that the days will pass by in the same routine and with the same ordinariness.

That is why happiness is always momentary.

For the young, happiness is a heart beat. If you catch the chance to do something that will make you happy right that moment, you’ve got to do it. You must not wait.

You’ve got to scream. You’ve got to sing. You’ve got to sit on the street on İstiklal.

Even though they have the ability to understand communication much better than adults, they don’t want to get it on purpose. They are more inclined to criticism than adults.

Do not knock yourself against a brick wall trying to explain - they do not listen.  They do not understand if they are not having fun - they do not want to understand.

Here is an audience that likes communication short and sweet.

If you cannott be short and sweet, if you go into too much detail, this means you are overtrying.

It is an audience one should never overtry with.

Because cool brands never try harder than necessary. They are not criers. They are brands that know what to say where.

There are certain topics this difficult audience falls for.

Of course, the most important one is the freedom theme.

All young people believe that they are somehow revolting against “authority”.

Certainly none of them define themselves as being obedient.

This revolt may be against parents, the school, the system, the municipality, the landlord, or the teacher. Most of the time, the object of the revolt is not even aware of the situation.

They find someone or something to revolt against in any case.

However if this battle is to be addressed, the advertiser certainly must not exaggerate this notion of battle.

When compared to their “peers” in Europe, the battle of the Turkish youth against authority seems quite harmless and symbolic.

Therefore the accent of your communication should be on freedom rather than rebellion.

Another important headline is Urban Legends.

The young love to hear and tell cool, funny, and absurd urban legends.

This is the “Man, a friend of mine sued Pepsi Max saying he drank it but Aysun did not kiss him” talk.

The brand needs to create a basis for this kind of chat to happen.

One way to do this is to carry internet incidents, which have momentarily become popular, into the communication at once.

If the communication is themed after an urban legend, you need to position the role of your brand so that it will not harm the absurdity of the communication.

The young do not want to see the brand within the communication as much as the adults.

The minute they think it is trying too hard, they think the brand is “selling” and they reject it.

Another topic they love is Romanticized Realities.

The content will be romantic however they dislike the talk of great loves and enormous ideals.

Romance should be offered at a certain reality level.

Love should be real. It should be sincere.

The characters you will choose are among the key points here.

The young does not want to see his/her daily life on the ad.

He/she wants to see something more interesting and adventurous than his own life on the ad.

The young wants to identify with what is more adventurous than himself/herself – not what is the same as him/her.

However, you must not stray too much from real life when choosing the characters.

People love Levi’s 501’s two youngsters jumping off the dock.

The guy is ugly. The girl is in a transition period. These two are very real and so is their love. But what they are doing at that very moment is not ordinary. It is different. This is why people like this communication.

In short, whatever you do, never underestimate the young consumer audience.

A bad communication targeting young people results in much more dangerous consequences than bad communication targeting adults.

The WOM (word of mouth effect) effect of this audience is four times more than that of the adults.

And since they use digital ruthlessly to make their propaganda, you can never foresee where a negative word put in for the brand will end up.

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