Am presenting tomorrow at AIMIA’s ‘Getting Inside Gen Y’ conference in Sydney. My presentation topic is ‘Experimentation is the new Engagement’ , so I’m gonna talk about brands needing to create social experiments, be agile, bounce off popular culture to keep Gen Y constant guessing and connecting with each other. I’m presenting after Jy Smith, Julian Cole and Em Copeland so some real social media and pop culture experts down here in OZ. Hopefully I can also bring some fresh insights. Will upload my presentation tomorrow. Cheers.
Really interesting article on how Nike approach marketing to youth. Simon Penstridge the UK marketing director has some killer quotes which capture what alot of other youth brands have to start thinking about..it’s the key reason why they are who they are and continue to engage youth in such interesting and deep ways. Here’s some of his thoughts on their evolving communications model/approach, and what they stay true to:
AN UNDYING COMMITMENT TO THEIR CORE BRAND IDEA
“Everything we do is motivated by the fact that we’re here to enable athletes to be even better.” Their latest ‘The Chance’ idea for the 2010 FIFA World Cup is the perfect embodiment of this philosophy, as they give young footballers the chance to live their dreams
INSPIRATION AND INNOVATION ARE CORE VALUES
“Innovation comes in the form of our constantly evolving products, Inspiration comes from the way in which we enable consumers to experience these products.”
BE PART OF THEIR LIVES, INFUSE YOUR BRAND INTO THE CULTURAL CONSCIOUSNESS
“We don’t do advertising any more. We just do cool stuff, it sounds a bit wanky, but that’s just the way it is. Advertising is all about achieving awareness, and we no longer need awareness. We need to become part of people’s lives and digital allows us to do that.”
The recent , Nike Grid idea was a great example of fusing the real world with an amazing digital gaming experience where London was their playground.
80% PRODUCTION SPEND, 20% MEDIA SPEND
“Some of our best campaigns have been the cheapest to create because they’ve caught the imagination of users and then taken off like wildfire”. Nike Bootcamp in 2008 was a brilliant example of entertainment, utility and social working together seamlessly.
“We want to inspire consumers to seek out our content this is the model we will be following from now on.” The 2009 Tour de France Nike LIVESTRONG Chalkbot not only inspired Lance, but millions of fans worldwide.
EVALUATE IN THE REAL WORLD
“You don’t get anything from sitting behind a two-way mirror listening to focus groups, You learn from living and breathing your brand. When anyone in my team comes up with an idea, I tell them go and run it past a kid on a football pitch. If they don’t get laughed at and if they avoid coming across as the kid’s un-cool dad, then they’re probably on the right track.”
EMBRACE A FAIL FORWARD APPROACH
“We’re pushed to take risks in everything we do as long as we’re enabling the athlete to be better, Sure, we’ll get some things wrong but you’ve just got to go for it.”
Simon has clearly got his finger on the pulse and ‘gets it’..more marketers need to take a leaf out of Nike’s book.
Influence is a brands most powerful asset. Forget Attention economy. We’re now living in the Influence Economy. Web 2.0 technology has democratised influence, anyone can get it. It’s now about the influential ideas, people, brands that are creating cultural capital for youth. As we all know Gen C are hyper connected through digital communities relying on peer influence for most brand and life decisions. The level of influence a young person holds within their tribe impacts directly on their standing within the digital community. Marketers need to shift the way they think about connecting with young people. Attention alone is not nearly enough. You need to create ‘influence’. We’ve seen a shift from INTERRUPTION marketing (one to many, uninvited, one way) or Disruption (sorry TBWA, your model is out of date now) in the late 90’s to ENGAGEMENT (one to one, dialogue) model (2004-2007) to INFLUENCE (many to many, social currency sought out by Gen C). What does this mean for brands trying to connect with youth? As always, your brand needs to have a strong point of view on the world that’s unique and culturally relevant. Think about what conversations in culture you can spark and how you can build or leverage a community around that piece of conversation. How can you make Gen C ‘influential’ withing their tribe? Do something remarkable and let the community play with it. In 2009, it’s all about the ‘art of creating influence’ in youth marketing.
I wrote this deck earlier this year as a bit of an intro into Generation C and some tips into how marketers can successfully engage with youth. It’s all about brand participation, allowing youth to get involved with and play with ideas…that’s what drives cultural capital and the stickiness of your brand.