#SXSW 2013 panelpicker: ‘Your brand’s next boss was born 1 minute ago – engaging youth with participation branding

Attention Bloggersphere: I’ve just put in an entry for the 2013 SXSW Interactive festival in Austin, Texas with my fellow Regional Planning Director APAC at Iris, Paul Gage @gagey501 and we need your vote. Please click on the link below and vote for us if you find the idea of ‘participation branding’ through the lens of youth culture interesting.


Here’s the spiel:

Put your money away Granddad! Building a successful brand with youth comes at a price, but its currency is participation. The rewired brains of tomorrow’s teens will only buy into brands that are cultural from the core and redefine how hey interact with people. This is ‘participation branding’ and it’s how business now needs to think. Participation brands have involvement hardwired into their DNA – from small scale programs to long term platforms. Involving youth in extraordinary content, experiences, conversations and communities will be essential ingredients to move them to produce, play, propagate and play for your products, services and ideas. In this talk we’ll explore the 5 principles of participation branding and also give you a glimpse of what participation branding will look like in the future – by sharing how our global client partner adidas is preparing for the 2020 Olympics.


Rise of the Recessionista

How will the recession affect global youth spending behaviour? Everyone always talks about young people being free spending, loading up the credit cards with huge debts etc. They’ve been the ‘I WANT IT WHATEVER IT COSTS’ generation. I believe we will see the rise of the ‘Recessionista’ in the coming months as Aussie youth adjust their spending behaviour. It will all be about maintaining their appearance, but doing it for less and wanting more brand experience along the way. Remember, they have the power with all these brands competing for their attention. So instead of buying Diesel or Nudie jeans they will be settling for Industrie. Instead of buying Grey Goose, they’ll settle for Stolichnaya. We’ll also see them becoming ‘hybrid dressers’ as they combine luxury brands with the cheap and nasty. So teens running around with Prada glasses and a pair of Dunlop Volleys. I believe global youth are ‘striving to be more’ as opposed to striving to have more, so brands that help them achieve will win. Value in the eyes of young people won’t just be perceived as a price equation, it’s all about the quality, cultural capital (social currency) that brand gives them as well as brand utility that is provided. The youth brands who focus purely on price will shoot themselves in the foot. The brands who create more perceived value via interesting brand experiences and giving kids shit to talk about will kill it.