Educational milestones such as GCSEs and A Levels represent a key touchpoint for brands looking to engage with a new generation of customers.
Visibility and availability are key
For about a week in the middle of August, all eyes are on seventeen and eighteen year olds as they receive their A Level grades and their fate of higher education, gap years or apprenticeships is sealed. The newspapers are usually full of pictures of pretty, happy students leaping for joy whilst clutching their results slips, but to what extent does this stereotype actually represent the reality for students and what opportunities does this present for brands?
Access all areas
2015’s batch of 16-24 year olds are extremely comfortable online. They are very active across social networks. In addition, they are trusting of brands on social networks and don’t regard them as an intrusion on their privacy. In fact, they are significantly more likely than average to say that they are not worried about how much information brands can see about them. Research recently published by data intelligence company GBG suggests that this may be because these digital natives admit to lying about their personal details when completing online forms. In contrast, older people who joined social networks whilst they were still in their relative infancy, were perhaps more honest when sharing details about themselves and are therefore more wary of brand presence. In fact, our research shows that the majority (57%) of today’s 16-24 year olds believe that they are more likely to get a response from a brand if they contact them via social media.
Today’s 16-24 year olds have grown up in an instant culture – very few will be familiar with the time spent waiting for a dial up connection to get online -, they have probably never rewound a cassette to play a song again and its unlikely that many have put pen to paper and then wait a week or two to find out if they have won a competition. Today’s teens have expectations of an instant response and this extends to their interactions both on and offline. They engage with brands via social media because they want an instant response. This also suggests an underlying assumption that brands are always listening, and also invites them to respond.
Supporting teens through many milestones
As this year’s A Level students take to their social networks to share their hopes and fears for what happens after results day, there are opportunities for brands to step in to help point them in the right direction. This generation is rewards-driven and celebration or commiseration packs sent to those sharing their successes or failures could go a long way to helping build brand loyalty. In addition, it provides a fantastic opportunity for universities and apprentice schemes to step in and guide them through their options based on the information that they share online.