It’s looming. Impending uncertainty. For young people in the UK it must seem like another socio-cultural-political blow in a string of blows that has surely given rise to feelings of doom, gloom and glasses half empty.
Our insights tell us that students today, while striving to remain positive are not as resilient as they perhaps make out, in fact 1 in 4 students experience mental health issues like anxiety and depression. With ongoing political uncertainty this March, it seems that it won’t just be getting caught in Springtime showers on the way to Aldi that will dampen spirits.
They are however rallying together, they’re getting Cons on the ground and they’re trying to do their bit to shape their futures and get their opinions across. And why not? Who else is going to look after their interests in a post 29th March world? Donald Tusk?
Our deep dive into the evolution of youth and student culture in Britain today, What Matters To Us, made it clear that students today will make their voices heard, whether through on the ground activism or on the phone micro influencism.
9/10 students have taken some kind of action for a cause they believe in.
83% have signed a petition online and 40% have gone on to share a political cause on social media.
A recent NUS poll showed that two thirds of the 2000 students surveyed demanded a final say on the divorce deal
and in October last year a reported 700, 000 people joined the People’s Vote march, led by young voters of the
Can brands effectively play in this space?
Is a politically charged environment a space that brands can successfully navigate within? How can a brand enter
the space and remain authentic? Why would they want to enter the space at all?
We have seen how students support brands that take direct action and have a strong social purpose. Lush and
Patagonia are excellent examples of brands that have done just that and both have built a young, loyal and
potentially lifelong consumer base. Are you prepared to stand, or in Nike’s case take a knee, with your young
audience, sharing an authentic genuine message for their causes and ultimately making them your own? The benefits are clear to see.
On the flipside we have also seen how good intentions can backfire if your logistical and supply chain
operations are not aligned to your marketing claims. Frozen food aficionados Iceland shouted from the tree-tops that
it would cease using palm-oil in its products but at the time of writing it seems those tree-tops are still burning with
good old Rang-tang stuck at the top.
3 simple steps you can take
Our tips for getting this right are simple, but could have brilliant results for your brands positive equity among this
- Be clear on what you stand for
- Make sure your message is genuine and your business operations can support it
- Follow-through, even in the tough times
We’ve managed to avoid the B word so far but for young people it truly is an issue they are talking about on campus
and they are obviously prepared to hit the streets to get their voices heard, will you be there with them? If not, how
can you support them?
Get in touch for more insight or if you want to talk about how you can adapt your student marketing
strategy to authentically talk to your brands’ future and potentially life-long consumers.