Business in a Young World
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Businesses, by their very nature require reaching out to the masses. They serve as an excellent medium to spread awareness about issues concerning the youth and children. Simultaneously, owing to their reach, they are able to influence young minds. Thus, the relationship between businesses and the youth brigade is a two way street-in which the role of one impacts the other.
With the constant exposure that young people have to various advertisements and business schemes, they become an integral part of their lives. These ads are read, watched, heard and subsequently talked about. They have, to an extent, become part of pop culture, thanks to being features in between everyone’s favourite primetime TV shows, on magazines and all over the internet. The messages that ads convey, thus impact young people to a seemingly larger extent. For instance, life insurance ads showing only the male member of the family worrying about the financial matters of the household, and detergent ads primarily featuring female protagonists worrying about the family’s dirty clothes reaffirm the patriarchic notions of the roles of men and women in their domestic lives. Such portrayals affect the developing value systems of young people.
Most companies today have campaigns and advertisements linked to a social cause. Businesses promoting young entrepreneurs and start-ups have also started to become commonplace. The real question here is, do these programs and campaigns ultimately achieve what they claim to be achieving? More importantly, does the youth actually end up achieving what they seem to be achieving? Many of these campaigns are designed by professional marketing experts, all having graduated from top-notch business schools. They take up and associate a company’s product/service with a venture that seems financially beneficial. For them, it needs to be an association that is mutually beneficial. In doing so, somewhere down the line, the essence of the cause is lost.
Businesses must incorporate the voice of the youth and children because almost everything that companies deal with affect and are affected by children. A vast majority of these children reside in emerging markets, places where many business operations are based. It is in the interest of business to help tackle youth unemployment and find ways for young people's energy and talents to contribute to building stronger local and national economies. The world is young and young people are the centre of businesses.