Key Youth Findings For Brands

What every marketer needs to know...

1) Don’t tell them who they are, ask them...

We have spent decades telling people that in order to be X they must do Y – and there was a time when people bought into that completely. Things are different now and identity is a fluid, personal and ever-changing beast. As a brand, are you ready to credibly join this conversation through championing collaborations, personalisation, experimentation and ongoing conversation?

2) Understand their changing ideas of success...

Young Aussies are subscribing to the personal (rather than societal) goals philosophy. 50% think if they are happy, they are achieving success. They want to have fun and be healthy in mind and body. Less emphasis is on traditional measures of success like getting married or having a degree. As a brand, are you showing them ways to achieve internal happiness or still positioning your product as a miracle shortcut to success?

3) Don’t buy into superficial narratives about them...

Just because young people show signs of political apathy, it doesn’t mean they don’t care. They aren’t frivolous, they just don’t buy into the institutions of government that rarely represent their values. As a brand, are you still viewing your young audience as shallow and apathetic or do you see them as the multi-faceted, woke and intelligent beings they are?

4) Value individualism as much as they do...

One size does not fit all and representation matters. Young Aussies overwhelmingly feel that beauty comes in different shapes, colours and sizes. They want the diversity they see every day to be reflected back to them by their favourite brands. As a brand, are the faces of your brand representative of the audience you want, and have you thought about how changing them could open up a new audience for you?

5) Experience is everything...

After price and quality, the biggest influence on purchase is experiencing a product or brand before they buy. Young Aussies want a certain amount of ceremony around their decision-making to purchase journey. As a brand, are you immersing them fully into your world? Are you allowing them to see the many elements of your brand and share it with others?

6) Don’t ignore ethics...

A warning for the future: whether it’s food or fashion, young Aussies understand the links between what they buy, eat or wear and the impact on other humans and the planet. They are starting to become more critical of their own behaviour. As a brand, have you set yourself targets that you can share with your audience, to show you are moving in the right direction for an ethical and sustainable future?

7) Indulge their love of innovation...

They might not buy all of it, but young Aussies are impressed with technology and excited for what is to come. Meaningful innovation (whether it’s plastics being turned into fabrics or 3D printers creating tiny homes) can set your brand apart and get you noticed. Innovation doesn’t need to be disruptive if you can simply adapt existing infrastructure. As a brand, do you know your audience well enough to understand where your product experience could be better? Can you use an existing technology to solve a problem or remove a pain point?

8) It all comes back to human connection...

Young people want physical experiences because they want to feel connected. They want a reason to come together, to feel connected to each other, their global community and the brands that represent them. As a brand, are you giving young people opportunities to have shared experiences? Can you help them to feel more connected to their peers across the country, or part of the global experience happening on their screens every moment?

Check out the full research online here

► If you are a brand and interested in a presentation or workshop to share the findings please contact

For brands, knowledge is power. It’s all about understanding your audience on a deeper level; from shifting social attitudes to the changing consumer landscape. Here two experts give us their thoughts on what this research will mean for them and how they perceive the situation for young people in contemporary Australia.

Natasha Wallace

Strategy Director | Mindshare

Find real depth

Broad stroke labels have created a pseudo understanding of this cohort when there is so much more complexity than we can imagine. Born into a world of connectivity, fluid immigration and economic crisis these dynamics challenge homogeneity.

Young people the world over are the new consumer powerhouse – the US predicts Gen Z alone will represent 40% of consumers by 2020, while in Asia Pacific the ‘millennial’ generation is expected to have the largest spending power ever!

Go beyond preference

Brands are facing more competition than ever before as consumers wrestle back purchase power. Brand preference is ever more challenging because people expect more – it’s not enough that your product does what it says on the tin.

Build dialogues not demands

To win this new consumer they have to identify with you. That is why understanding our audience beyond a demographic and media behaviour, with a move towards cultural significance, is imperative. Young Blood is a ‘way in’ for brands to challenge that status quo, to stand up and out of their routine and build relevance with a diverse audience base that will ultimately decide their on-going success.

Kurt McGuiness

PR & Brand Experience Manager | Volkswagen Group Australia

Build the bigger picture

This research is important because it cuts to the chase, and provides an unadulterated snapshot in time with an influential and often misunderstood demographic. How can brands hope to create a connection with our youth before first asking what matters most to them?

Make connections

Giving marketers a peek inside the heads of Australia’s most connected generation is invaluable, allowing brands to make meaningful connections and understand needs beyond merely selling products and services.

Encourage research

The societal, political and economic factors impacting Australian youth today are vastly different from previous generations (or even those just five years older). Knowledge, after all, is power. I think the Young Blood research will empower my colleagues and I to act boldly, while ensuring that truth and authenticity remain at the heart of everything we do.