Marketing brands successfully to the youth requires an understanding of the world they inhabit – a world that is digital, narcissistic and technology oriented, that provides instant gratification, and that is all about culture, image and micro-moments. The youth of today are very aware of who they are and where they come from, and they are increasingly celebrating being African and South African. These are just some of the insights to come out of a panel discussion on how youth trends can help brands build sustainable relationships. It formed part of the recent Sunday Times Generation Next Youth Marketing Conference held in Sandton, Johannesburg. Members of HDI Youth Marketeers’ junior board of directors reminded marketers that the youth should not be put into a box; they want to be seen as individuals rather than as a collective. To reach them requires authenticity – companies need to stick to their DNA and be true to their brands.

The junior board of directors admitted that ...

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