HOW CAN BRANDS HELP TODAY’S YOUNG ACTIVISTS TO SHOW THEY GIVE A DAMN? To highlight its research findings on the need for mission business and prompt further conversation about how brands can credibly commit to such practices, The Youth Lab invited a panel of young activists and marketing experts to Thinkhouse HQ on June 29th for an insights and trends breakfast: The Need for Mission Marketing.
SO, WHAT DID WE LEARN ABOUT MISSION MARKETING?
Look within your business: When it comes to determining what your mission should be, make sure it’s coming from your brand beliefs and history. By looking internally as opposed to starting with the ‘trending issues’, adding societal value will come naturally in a way that reflects who you are as a business. Bláthnaid McKenna of Innocent Smoothies spoke of the origin of the company and its mission to help people live well and die old, “Every decision at the company relates back to its mission and core values. We don’t see mission as something separate. It’s fully integrated into who we are as a business and affects our day-to-day decision making.”
Make it cool: With a generation of young people who prefer experiences over possessions, the way to their hearts is to connect in ways that are interesting, entertaining, and deliver social currency. Max Doyle from One for Ireland said,“One of the big messages here is finding a cause you care about, but it’s also about doing it in a really interesting and cool way. That’s what makes a difference to young people and to your market essentially.”
Make it easy and incentivise: To engage passive activists like the The Armchair Altruists and The Educated Empaths, it’s critical that it’s easy for them to participate in your mission marketing activities. Grace De Bláca, Oxfam Activist, said “If you want to get young people behind a cause make it easy for them, make it as simple as a tweet.”
Paint a picture of positivity: Dr. Cara Augustenborg, former Ben and Jerry’s ambassador and Climate Change expert, highlighted how connecting young people to societal issues needs to challenge people’s inherent desire to want to live in a better world, “Doom and gloom doesn’t work. You need to paint a picture of the world that people would like to live in. People are most excited to work towards achieving a vision of the future that they like.”
Make serious issues sharable issues: Andrea Horan, founder of The Hunreal Issues, highlighted the power of communication in engaging young people, “There’s an army of girls who if they were mobilised, could play such a strong part in making women’s issues redline issues. We always ask ourselves what can we do to make it accessible and entertaining and get these issues that are serious issues to be shareable issues?”
Involve young people in the process: Evident by the incredible stories of our young activists, growing numbers of young people are motivated to make change happen and bring their peers along with them. The entire staff of volunteers at both ShoutOut and One for Ireland are comprised of young people, who effortlessly connect with their peers.
Make it credible: As identified in The Youth Lab’s research, a key barrier to overcome when connecting with young audiences is their inherent cynicism, particularly for the active engagers like the Committed Converts, the Change Makers and the Explicit Extremists. To overcome this, brands need to take a long-term view, identifying the specific issue they are going to address and put a plan in place that delivers impact. As Lye Ogunsanya, a social entrepreneur and founder of the House of Aki-na, highlighted, “credibility and dedication to the cause go hand in hand”.
Honesty breeds meaning: Perhaps the bravest people in the room were Cameron, Luke and Stephen from Bi-Polar Bear Wear, a clothing company designed to help breakdown the stigma of mental health. What really connects with prospective customers is their honesty in being upfront about their own personal experiences and their obvious desire to be of help to others in similar situations and break down the stigma surrounding mental health. Honesty creates meaning creates connection.
Inspired to take your mission marketing to the next level?
We know we are.
For more mission marketing Insights, connect with The Youth Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org