The conference, designed to create a platform for brands and organisations to gain insights and strategic advice on how to effectively engage and communicate with the youth market saw top brands like SABC, M-Net, Liberty, Honda, Nissan, Mr Price, GIBS, University of Pretoria, UNISA, FNB, Channel O, KPMG and many more, sharing and gaining insight into youth culture and behaviour.
There is no doubt that the youth market is a market worth considering. But how does a brand communicate with the ever so dynamic and opinionated youth?
Although the youth have a strong infatuation with digital and social media, the public space is regarded as their personal space. They don't want another pop up ad in their faces when they are on social media or playing a game; brands need to see the youth sphere as an opportunity to create experiences - which ultimately lasts longer than a passive advert.
Brands need to create immersive consumer experiences that create 'talk-ability', recommendations and builds a loyal relationship, which is then passed on from generation to generation.
One of the 2015 youth trends shared by HDI Youth Marketeers was F.O.B.U - the Fear of Being Unimportant. Young people won't associate themselves with brands that they or their peers don't consider as cool or don't make them feel important. According to Founder of the Brand Leadership Group, Thebe Ikalafeng, brands have the responsibility to enhance their values in the society they serve in.
Brands should also remember that young people thrive on creativity, look for easier ways to access information and interact with brands. Exp Agency MD, Wayne Flemming mentioned that the most successful campaigns are simple, and they don't often require huge budgets. Brands need to take risks, be brave and be bold.
"Young people believe in brands that add value in their lives. You need to know the primary lifestyle drivers of the youth in order to achieve that. We live in an increasingly young world, that's why brands need to immerse themselves in the youth market," added Levin.
CEO of M&C Saatchi Abel, Jacques Burger, mentioned that young people are able to smell "BS" from a mile away. It's important to keep your brand real, honest and authentic because that resonates well with youth. Keep your brand interesting, keep your brand connected and create innovative experiences - "boring has no friends", he concluded.