The Power Of The Pubescent

When we talk about marketing green, we tend to focus on selling to mature consumers, that is, adults. In reality, the consumer of tomorrow, an increasingly important influencer of behavior, is the younger generation of tweens and teens. 

The International Institute for Sustainable Development sums up delivering green messaging succinctly: The most responsive age group tends to be young adults, many of whom are influenced by their children.

If you happen to live in California, Oregon, New York or one of the greener states, it may not occur to you that children everywhere are not learning about being green. (I’m somewhat appalled by the science textbooks in the state in which I currently reside!) However, this is changing. As more schools start teaching environmental education to children, these children become the green customers of tomorrow.

Much more than older generations, the children now growing up in the second decade of the twentieth century have the power to change the values by which companies operate. Triple bottom line companies, as well as those moving toward healthier and more sustainable business practices, can influence the shopping habits of tomorrow’s consumer by focusing on younger potential consumers today.

Surveys consistently show that teens and tweens have a significant influence over household purchasing decisions. They have for years. What’s changed is the way that this target group consumes media and how marketers can influence these naturally receptive consumers.

All of the trends we see in media consumption are amplified in the teen and tween market – more web, more mobile, more video, shorter attention span. This all means advertising frequency plays a bigger role, and reach can be narrowed to a few key digital channels, with the caveat that these are always changing.

Delivering a green message can be easy because this demographic is primed to receive it, as long as it is delivered how and where they are listening. The old cliché, “Turn off the lights, we don’t own the electric company!” is rapidly changing to, “Turn off the lights, you’re not being green!”

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