New research finds passion and purpose the key to youth marketing

Brands that market to younger consumers need to focus on giving brands authenticity, according to new Junkee Media and oOh!media research

Young Australians are putting brands on notice that they expect brands to support causes they value, according to fresh research undertaken by Pollinate Research on behalf of Junkee Media and oOh!media.

Presented at the Vivid Ideas Exchange in Sydney last week, the A Gender for Change survey of 2315 young Australians from both Gen Z (16 to 24 years old) and Gen Y/Millennials (25 to 35 years old), found 75 per cent agree one of the important aspects of a brand is supporting a cause they believe in.  

While technology imbues the lives of young people, those surveyed care about major issues and nominated climate change and the environment as the number one concern, followed by gender and social equality, animal welfare, poverty alleviation and refugee rights at the top of the list.

“Brands increasingly have a role to play in upholding the values and ethics that are important to young Australians and our data shows that they will support brands that support causes they believe in,” said Junkee Media CEO, Neil Ackland.

On the question of what makes a successful brand, having good quality products and acting ethically with integrity were almost as equally important to those young people surveyed. When it comes to brand identity, young people surveyed reported that they see brands as more than just the products they sell, and need to contribute to consumers’ lives. They should be honest and be ethical and demonstrate their integrity through their brand stories and content.

What was also clear from the research was brands should not be afraid to address big issues that politics is failing to address, particularly in the area of sustainability, the environment and climate change. Brands need a point of view and to demonstrate an authentic passion and purpose, according to respondents to the joint Junkee and oOh!media survey.

oOh!media chief customer officer, David Scribner, said A Gender for Change gives us insight into what young Australians are passionate about and what inspires them. "It also shows how advertisers can use this insight to communicate their message to truly engage this audience across digital and classic out of home, experiential and our unique online and on-campus student platforms,” he said.

To summarise this year’s ‘youth census’, as it’s been dubbed by Junkee, brands looking for a cheat sheet to understand young Australians need to know that nothing matters more than climate, Gen Z is less addicted to social media and screens and views technology as seamless in their lives, gender equality is important, and there is good news to tell, despite the serious issues in the world and brands have a positive role to play.

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