Although it's unlikely to be officially added as a new word in the Oxford Online Dictionary (alongside recent additions "vajazzled" and "tweeps"), by the close of 2012, it's very likely that you will have come across an article or a tweet or a Facebook post that included the au courant colloquialism YOLO. What is YOLO, you might ask? For those of you without a Tumblr account or a teenaged child (with a Tumblr account, of course), YOLO is the cleverly crafted acronym for "you only live once." Think of it as "carpe diem!" for the text-messaging generation.
Want to know the potential impact of 3D printing? Ask a teen. For the past year, 3D printing has been in the headlines, and many a marketer has wondered how it will fit into our daily lives. So when I heard about 3DEA, a 3D printing pop-up shop, I had to check it out. Talking with the teens I met at 3DEA, it was easy to see they were excited by the myriad possibilities at their fingertips and not remotely daunted by the foreign technology in front of them.
As the year comes to an end, the prevalence of social media is more important than ever, allowing for a constant dialogue between brand and consumer. Marketers continue to be challenged with determining which communication channel is most effective in engaging their audience. A 2012 study revealed that 91% of teens use social media, with 86% indicating that they are most likely to get information about brands from Facebook.
The holiday season kicked off strong-both online and in-store-but there's still time to make it onto savvy teen wish lists. While younger children mark those ideas down in crayon, their older teen siblings never stop using smartphones to point out gift ideas and deals to their parents while doing a little self-gifting, too, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, "Holiday Shopping's Great Age Divide."
Rarely does a presidential campaign initiate so much response from the marketing world. President Barack Obama didn't just make a huge impression with his social media campaign targeted toward youth, he also taught marketers and brands a valuable lesson: teenagers are listening. Many assume that moody teenagers don't want to hear or participate with brands that interrupt their social circles. President Obama showed us how wrong that is.
Taylor Swift was recently asked by the Daily Beast if she's a feminist and responded that she "[doesn't] really think about things as guys versus girls" - sparking a bit of a freak-out among women about the future of feminism. There were rants about how Swift doesn't know what feminism is or do her part to empower women, concerns that there aren't any young feminists left to carry the torch, and the occasional essay from young journalists chiming in, supporting the pop star and admitting their own issues aligning with the feminist movement.
A successful trend in retailing is the pop-up shop, a short-term retail space where brands open small stores with the purpose of increasing sales and generating buzz. Pop-up shops serve as a gold mine when targeting teens, a demographic that is easily influenced by what the media deems trendy and popular. GameStop, for example, recently announced they will be launching pop-up stores around the country for the holidays, offering consumers previews of the top-selling and most popular electronics and video games.
Ah, the fickle teenager. This choosy consumer has been known to send sales soaring for one brand or retailer this year only to abandon ship for fresher choices the next. But while their allegiances may be fleeting, teens don't hesitate to buy when they fall for a product. So how do you woo erratic teens? Try making this your new mantra: Seeing is buying.
For many high school seniors across the country, fall marks the beginning of what is likely the most torturous few months of their lives, namely college application season.
Ask a teen why she volunteers, and she'll tell you things like "to make a difference in people's lives" or "to work on an issue I care about deeply." Ask that same teen about their volunteering habits (e.g., when, where, and with whom they volunteer), and a very different picture emerges. It turns out teens' primary motivation for volunteering isn't about creating social change. In fact, it's the same motivation that drives most of a teen's behavior: their friends are doing it.