4 Things Brands Can Do To Achieve Impactful Communications With The African Youth Market.
Big brands dominate and have an established market share, a wealth of experience as well as insightful reach. Such brands set aside huge budgets for marketing and advertising. Competition in branding requires thinking out of the box. To be able to attract the youth, brands need to think young.
Food for thought… Nobody is born with brand loyalty or with an attraction to brands like Nike, Apple, Samsung, Coke, to mention just a few. Arguably, family and friends have a significant impact on influencing one’s exposure to brands, but not essentially loyalty at a young age. When we were young adults, we were trying to establish our own identity by branding ourselves. However, in today’s generation, young adults are mobile, with smart devices in hand. They are influencing decisions of large groups of friends with a simple “share” button or entertaining reviews. Below are a few tips on how brands can attract the African youth:
- Get to their level; the youth want to participate and be involved.
Social-media sites are emerging every year and the youth are often trying to launch their individuality and define their identity (which is why Facebook has become the “old person” network). Your business has to be flexible, have know-how and be willing to put more effort and money into keeping up with the latest trends.
- Be where they are; the youth want their services anytime, anywhere.
The young generation is mobile and social. Therefore, in order to reach them, your company needs presence at their respective locations. Television is still a powerful and widely accepted medium for communication. However, it is being phased out in favor of online streaming and on-demand services. Everything is digital. Hence the need to play in the same league while competing with big brands.
- Do not assume.
Do not assume you know what the African youth want or that you can influence what they think. Engage them constantly to understand their changing needs and desires, and then adapt and often improve your strategy. Keep in mind that the youth are fed by content and information from a number of sources every day.
- Make good products.
No matter how well you capture the attention and loyalty of today’s generation/youth, you still need to produce amazing products and deliver exceptional experiences. For example, Apple produces the most outstanding products that attract the youth because they can relate to them. The youth really value their products- they are trendy, cool, multifaceted and responsive to their need for multi-connectedness.
Marketing to the African youth can be a remarkable challenge. With the fast changing trends and concepts, finding the right balance between valuable, actionable and youth-oriented content can be very difficult.
Working with the African youth requires an in-depth understanding of what defines their market, what appeals to them, and how to speak their language. As an up-and-coming keystone of the economy, how young African people think, act, and spend money can make a big difference in the growth of the economy.
By Bonolo Applegreen- Intern at Africommunications Group (ACG)