Youth Trends 2018

Youth are synonymous with having extremely short attention spans. With that being said, the truth is that this is a problem that plagues most of us in this non-stop world of content consumption.
Youth Trends 2018

This year, we decided that images speak a million more words than well, words, so we’re going to let our trends 2018 piece do the proverbial talking.

Let’s take a look at what we’ve identified as our top five trends for 2018.

1. Staying woke!

Young people are now more than ever, aware of the importance of knowing what’s happening in their social, political and economic realm. They do this through keeping their fingers on the pulse with social media, and other content sharing platforms. Being in the know is now considered cool, and of course this phenomenon is known as staying woke. A criticism of the phenomenon however – being #FakeDeep often creeps up under the guise of false concern. In essence it’s a balancing act between being what we previously coined as being a couch activist, and getting out there and mobilizing – something we’ve seen more and more of through local campaigns such as #FeesMustFall and recent global hashtags which highlighted the prevalence of sexual assault in the media.

2. One size doesn’t fit all

Youth desire brands that speak to their uniqueness and recognise that one size in fact doesn’t fit all. Consumers want to be recognised as the individuals they are, and brands need to appreciate this. The launch of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna was inspired by the desire to make women everywhere feel included by creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades. Locally, the Woolworths “Own Your Fit” campaign encourages women to embrace their body-beautiful, no matter their shape or size. Customisation continues to be important, and more so in 2018 where young consumers become more demanding.

3. Content personalisation

Capturing and sharing personal content that makes your youth clientele look and feel good is the direction that brands need to look at moving into. Yes, experiential marketing remains important, but in 2018 it’s equally important to create content around these experiences – something that benefits both the brand and the consumer. A great example of this the 2017 SA Fashion Week pop-up store which allowed guests to model their favourite pair of shades with a 360 view. A short video clip which could be manipulated was then sent to the consumer via a WhatsApp link, enabling them to show their brief moment of fame with their friends and followers.

4. #AfricaYourTimeIsNow

The youth narrative has changed. Young people are finally showing a deep interest in embracing their cultural evolution and paying homage to their unique roots. They are using literary and performing arts, fashion and other forms of selfexpression to draw the world’s attention to Africa’s youth skills. Public figures such as Basetsana Khumalo, Maria McCloy, Khuli Chana have been seen wearing T-shirts meant to express power, strength, beauty, identity and character. These are from the Butter Pudding range, which is a clothing label created by two African sisters, and all proceeds from t-shirts go towards a worthy cause.

5. The future is female

Young women are finally getting their voices heard! Although not entirely a new thing, we see contributors to serious conversations. Platforms such as Blackboard Africa which are acting as communication forums for other young women confronting issues that impact strongly on the lives of young South Africans.

Programmes like SAB’s Lerumo - a platform used to develop female entrepreneurs aims to promote sustainable business that can begin to fill the employment gap in our emerging economy. This initiative is aimed at breaking down profession barriers and improving market access capabilities to further become generational leaders.



30 Jan 2018 10:19

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