People come from a heritage that insists children must keep quiet and listen to their elders. Traditionally, story-telling plays a huge role in identity. Sharing and passing on knowledge down to others. This information that influences identity it typically patriarchal. Coming from elder male figures who teach those younger about who they are and about life.
In more recent traditions, women have played a more important role in shaping the young. Today things are changing even more. The truth is, regardless of gender or age, everyone wants to be heard, to be understood. Brands want people to hear and understand their message. Those wanting to appeal to the young should be focusing less on wanting to be heard but rather listen and understand what they are saying. The business has a voice, but it’s the young who are fighting to be heard. They are well-informed, speaking their minds and making more statements than ever.
Young people are no longer looking to their elders for story-telling that shapes their identity, they have their own stories to tell around subjects that matter to them and the world.
Kanye West, an icon to many of the young said it himself, listen to the ‘kids’! They believe they aren’t too young to speak up for what they believe in. They are more confident at a younger age. Bringing what they have to say to life through statements on clothing, social media, status posts. As well as in learning environments where there is a focus on sharing and connecting. They are the ‘woke’ generation. Educating themselves on subjects that matter to them and the world. Spurring them on to analyse the past, while live wholeheartedly in the now yet still managing to dream and work towards a forecasted, better future.
As brands, it’s an opportunity to connect with them by listening and sharing the stories they have to tell. We often see men who have worked up the ladder to success in stories brands tell. We see a mum who raised well-rounded kids. What about seeing stories where young people are telling their own stories from their perspective.
Young people are getting loud and the louder they’re getting the more they are inspiring others to do the same. Perception and perspective is very different for different age groups and generations. As brands, stay current by tapping into the story-telling and perspective of the young.