Build a Brand Experience that Engages Young Consumers

Next Generation Communications Blog

Build a Brand Experience that Engages Young Consumers

By Daisy Su, Senior Strategic Marketing Manager, Corporate Marketing, Alcatel-Lucent (@daisysu)

I’ve received a lot of questions from mobile operators, who are asking about mobile data growth and how it’s related to the youth market — meaning consumers from the age of 18 to 25 or sometimes 18 to 22. The mobile operators’ own research shows that the youth segment is valuable — and influences adult segments. The Business Case for Youth section of the Mobile Youth Report also says: “The youth market is worth $1 trillion dollars. Youth drive high-end smartphone markets. Youth have the highest lifetime value of all customers.” As a result, mobile operators around the world are taking notice of young consumers, and some are investing in a new youth brand to attract that segment. 

For example, in Ireland, “48” is the new wave of youth mobile services targeting the 48-month duration between the ages of 18 and 22.  See how 48 cleverly branded its video campaigns. It’s not about subscriptions, but about low-cost membership in the 48 community. Its members can get calling, texting, and mobile Internet services with a manageable cost — and find online support through FAQs, community support, and a 48 customer care agent offering online help with a 24-hour response time. On top of all that, 48 is encouraging members to grow their community by giving “Kickback” to members and their friends who join. 

On the other hand, the Mobile Youth Report also points out under Youth Branding: “You don’t have to be a Youth Brand. Most popular brands with youth are Youthful not Youth brands (e.g. Starbucks, Apple, Facebook). Youthful means open to ideas and dialogue. The Next Big Thing always starts in the youth market and spreads to the mass market/adults later e.g. SMS, mobile messaging, Facebook, Instagram.”

Clearly, the recent “un-carrier” events launched at T-Mobile USA are working to attract youth through the CEO’s twitter account and the company’s Facebook and Instagram campaigns on “Break-up Letter” and “Rebel Maker.” These communications are getting a lot of notice by the youth segment. 

Whether creating a youth brand or a youthful brand, mobile operators need to consider how to craft offers that promote the “mobile data first” experience. Young people don’t usually have a lot of money, but they are highly motivated to use data on the go, especially in countries where public Wi-Fi is readily available. The goal for 3G/4G LTE mobile operators is to drive the “mobile data first” experience into young consumers’ behaviors, so they will stop being afraid to use mobile data and feel in control of what they use and when they use it.

What other successful examples of youth brands vs. youthful brands do you know about? Do you agree that the youth segment influences adult segments in mobile data growth? Why or why not?

If you like this article, please feel free to share it with your followers. Next week, I will offer my insights on the 10 ways to drive mobile data growth through the youth market. 

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