4 Ways Your Brand Can Make the Grade In 2013

Adults aren’t the only ones who set goals and resolutions for the New Year. But when we asked teens to name three things they hope to do in 2013, we were surprised by the most popular response: Do well in school. In fact, 70% of teens we surveyed (roughly 30 in all) named academic achievement as a top goal without even a hint of irony. 

The most common answer? Earn straight A’s. A third of the teens told us they’re chasing this perfect report card in 2013. Other responses: graduate, stay in gifted classes, make the dean’s list, go to college, do well in school and earn better grades. Boys and girls aspired to these scholarly dreams in roughly equal numbers, and, overall, the teens we polled ranged in age from 12 to 18. 

We think this near-universal desire to do well in school represents a big opportunity for brands and retailers. If you can help teens win that spot on the honor roll, you’ll be taking a big step toward earning their dollars and loyalty. Try tapping into these opportunities for making the grade with teens:



1.) Link healthy eating with doing well in school. You don’t have to sell pencils or paper to help teens ace next week’s algebra test. Try offering healthy, on-the-go foods to power high school kids running late for school. Educate teens about how eating well helps you think better and look radiant. Then work on making your core products more appealing to young people. Campbell, for instance, created a whole new line of soups called Campbell’s Go offered in bags instead of cans. The flavors, design and messaging all talk directly to Millennials.   

2.) Simplify the buying process. Teens are in a hurry. They’ve got homework to do. And growing up with the Internet means they’re used to having information and goods at their fingertips. Look for ways to connect simplicity to products and services that can help teens achieve in school. Apple, for instance, might extend its educational discount to high school students. Bed Bath & Beyond already gives teens a “Campus & Beyond” shopping checklist that makes it easy to outfit a dorm room or first apartment. 

3.) Create study stations in-store. Want more foot traffic from teens? Trade in those store-within-a-store concepts in favor of study stations. Think lamps, comfy pillows, desks, calculators and even healthy snacks. Nearby you might include signage that prompts teens to share their favorite study tips on your Facebook page. 

4.) Take campaigns beyond back-to-school season. Most brands and retailers do a good job with the back-to-school rush each fall. But what if you continued the momentum with campaigns that reach beyond August and September? You might offer a chance to win a $150,000 scholarship for every $150 spent around graduation time. Or host a live Twitter chat with a college test prep instructor, so teens can ask questions in real time.

2 comments about "4 Ways Your Brand Can Make the Grade In 2013 ".
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  1. Tim Eyles from Nickelodeon / Viacom, January 3, 2013 at 10:35 a.m.

    These are great ideas! As someone who is always trying to target this audience, I'm interested in seeing how teens will respond in 2013. Some of these ideas could def work! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Maruchi Santana from Parham Santana, January 3, 2013 at 1:49 p.m.

    Hi Tim,
    Glad you like our ideas! I write monthly for Media Post: Engage Teens.
    You might enjoy also: Buy Me (Maybe): Celebrity Brands Are A Starting Point For Teen Style
    Plus my ultimate favorite: How to Make Real Connections With Teen Girls: Three Lessons From Being A Miss Teen USA Judge.

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