Someone once said famously that youth is wasted in young people. The thought might hold some merit. But for a marketer the cluelessness of young people is one of the many reason why targeting young people makes a lot of sense.
Research shows that most of our value system, life choices and general view of what kind of brands we would like are formed by the age of seven. Combine that with the fact our brains do not complete forming till the age of around 23-25, it makes sense to target young people. The younger the better.
Young people generally are experimenters and more importantly they are yet to finalize their identity in this world. That’s what makes them ripe for picking by any brand who can create that identity on behalf of them. Brand for them is a way for signaling to the world who they are, internally making them believe that they are being “Different” and “Cool” than others and at the same time give them the passport to fit in. The brands that can balance that delicate act, wins.
But interestingly our obsession with youth is not allowing us to go beyond the traditional model of approaching “Cool people” and “Opinion Leaders”. The world is not full of good looking, popular people. And though it makes sense to create an aspirational presence in front of those “regular kids”, a more potent strategy could have been to create brands that identify with those micro-segments.
That’s why while it makes sense to create brands based on demographic and lifestyle segmentation, there are micro-segments within that which we can approach. How about brands that target introverts only? One out of 3 people in this world are introverts, yet the whole advertising industry is set up for extroverts only. How about brands for left handed people? The entire shopping experience is designed for right handed people. By creating those focused brands for small niches, we can unlock riches that can benefit us.
Let us push the envelope a bit further. How about brands for people who are bullied in school? The social outcast? The horizontally and vertically challenged people?
The numbers may not justify having big presence followed by big bucks, but there are enough to justify a gentle peek.