In this week’s guest post, we hear from leading social mobility charity, Speakers for Schools. Below, they discuss the importance of building brand loyalty, why you should be earning the trust of Gen Z, and how their app, Youth Card, can help young people to access opportunities which help to shape futures.
Getting your brand on young people’s radar with discounts is great, but to build trust and brand loyalty on a deeper level, you need to empower them to do more than simply save money on their shopping.
Earning trust by making it personal
Under 25s represent the future workforce and are a highly influential consumer body who value their individuality and expect transparency, authenticity and honesty from the brands they engage with.
According to research by McKinsey, ‘The influence of Gen Z – the first generation of true digital natives – is expanding…Young people have become a potent influence on people of all ages and incomes, as well as on the way those people consume and relate to brands.’
As a generation, they are the most diverse generation to date and have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, which means you need to recognise this when you are trying to win them over. They need to see people like themselves represented by your brand and believe that you are invested in making their lives better in some way.
According to research quoted by Forbes, Gen Z’s trust in larger institutions is on the decline and brand neutrality on societal issues is no longer an option. Young people are truth-seekers who want to know what your brand stands for.
Which is why, if you want to elevate your brand with Gen Z and assure your brand’s survival, you need to be prepared to engage with young people from all different walks of life, tailor your offerings according to segment profile and demonstrate a level of empathy to build their trust.
The future of brand discovery
As a leader in youth social mobility, Speakers for Schools has already earned the trust of over 1 million young people from a variety of backgrounds and over 700 different brands. We understand the challenges facing Gen Z and the challenges facing the brands trying to connect with them.
That’s why our free Youth Card mobile app takes a different approach. It not only offers businesses a way to deliver money-saving deals and exclusive discounts to 11-25-year-olds but also acts as a safe space to engage with the youth demographic in a more meaningful way through free work experience, skill-building workshops, mentoring, and more. Companies like Santander, L’Óreal, BBC, Fat Face, Gousto and more are already using the platform to widen their outreach.
Who is the behind Youth Card?
Launched in 2021 by leading youth social mobility charity Speakers for Schools together with UK Youth and Young Enterprise, Youth Card aims to improve outcomes for millions of young people – particularly those with the highest need.
Successful versions of Youth Card already exist throughout Europe through the European Youth Card Association (EYCA) and in Scotland through Young Scot. Over 7.2 million young people are already enjoying the benefits in these regions.
Speakers for Schools hold the EYCA licence for England, Wales and Northern Ireland and will work closely with Young Scot to offer joined-up support in a way never previously possible.
Why was Youth Card created?
We all recognise how challenging the pandemic has been for the young people in our communities. Gaps between the most and least privileged in society have grown bigger and it’s widely recognised that the Covid generation will need help to make up for lost time.
Recent research commissioned by YouGov on behalf of Speakers for Schools revealed huge disconnects between how well employers and politicians understand young people versus the reality.
It also showed that young people, employers and politicians all agree that work experience is a vital tool for helping the Covid generation to make up for lost time, but accessibility can be a big issue.
The free Youth Card mobile app can help overcomes this barrier by acting as a one-stop for young people to access life-changing developmental opportunities, including free online work experience.
And because Youth Card allows its partners to target their offerings based on age, geographical area, and a range of other criteria including eligibility for Free School Meals and/or SEND requirements, support can be focused on where it’s needed more.
Supporting social impact and sustainable business growth
Increasing your brand’s social impact does not mean compromising your commercial success – in fact, it can generate better outcomes for everyone. By investing in young people – particularly those with the highest needs – you can build trust, market share and form more sustainable pipelines of early talent.
These days it’s not enough to just talk the talk, you need to be seen to walk the walk to build brand loyalty with Gen Z.
If you’d like to find out how Youth Card can help your business do good while also gaining more traction with the 11-25-year-old demographic, let’s get talking!
What to find out more? Become a Youth Card partner today or contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements further.
Visit Youth Card at their booth at this year’s YMS event in London this September. Don’t miss out on our must-attend event for anyone looking to understand and reach the ever-changing youth demographic, and get your tickets for YMS21 LDN here.