School’s out for summer

The last bell of the high school year just might be the sweetest sound in existence. When we think about it we can’t help hearing School’s Out, Alice Cooper’s anthem of teen rebellion, playing in our heads. After that bell, it’s work hard, play hard for two months. Hell yes.

Whether students have a part-time job scooping ice cream, driving a fork lift  or entering data, summer work is a ticket to freedom – deliverance from study and the means to autonomous spending. Concerts and festivals, food and drink, video games and entertainment. The world is their shiny new oyster.

Granted, economic times are much tougher for youth today than they were in the Dazed and Confused days, but the summer spirit’s still alive and well, and if parents are providing support, virtually 100 per cent of a young adult‘s net income can end up being allocated to the fun ledger.

Is your product fun? Offer something genuine, interesting and valuable – you might just get some traction.

If you want up-to-the-minute research regarding the rapidly shifting interests of your target demographics, find out what topics are trending on Twitter in your region of interest and what people are saying about them. See what videos are popular on YouTube.

Keep in mind that much of the new information these young adults share online is found and posted by early adopters and older siblings, at least in the case of teens. So make sure you offer them something too.

And don’t underestimate the power of peers. Chances are, whatever their peer group likes, they’ll at least want to investigate, whether it comes in the form of a Facebook ad or a link posted by a friend – music videos, online games, blogs, articles, viral videos and other memes.

At a concert or festival, they’ll post social media updates and pics live via smart phone. Could you position yourself at a summer event using an attention-grabbing publicity stunt or a smart-phone-pic-based contest to get your content posted too?

Can you stir up interest among the students working at your business this summer so that they share (positive) information about your company with their friends? And no, asking them outright to share your content isn’t an option.

The contribution of young people to the summer economy isn't just monetary. Summer should be a time of playfulness – in your company's product offerings and marketing approaches.

This summer, let young people be your colleagues, your customers and your muses.