The future of your business lies with the youth of today
- 1 Article
‘Globalisation’ is quickly becoming a buzz word in the business sphere. Globalisation is leading to an array of opportunities for businesses all around the world. Much of this has resulted in the movement of manufacturing to developing nations.
Businesses, particularly large business, are unparalleled in their power to create positive change in the world. Ethical business practices can make a huge difference to young people living in these areas. For example, giving mothers fair work conditions may result in a child attending school that may not previously been able to. This impacts the country immensely. If India enrolled 1% more girls in secondary school, its GDP would rise by $5.5 billion (CIA World Fact Book). By providing circumstances that will encourage this behaviour, rather than hinder it, businesses could start a positive trend in countries in which they operate.
There may not seem to be much incentive for making this change, however while businesses are quickly realising the consumer potential of youth, the impact youth can have on business extends far beyond their purchasing power.
Growing up in a globalised world, youth see themselves as citizens of a world beyond the borders of their home nation. With this understanding, comes a great sense of responsibility. Young people all over the world are becoming more aware of the impacts businesses can have; both positive and negative. So, with globalisation comes another trend of active consumers. These consumers are prepared to make active purchasing decisions, and care strongly about ethical business practices. Young people who are buying a business’s products in a developed nation, are likely to consider the impact that purchase will have on the life of a young person elsewhere in the world.
Young people begin to make decisions about the brands they will purchase from a young age. Businesses recognise this, Volvo began marketing to young people in the hope of building a lifetime relationship (The Guardian, 2013). Understanding the needs and wants of young people, particularly the issues they care about, is vital for sustaining business.
The youth of today are unlike any other market. Constantly connected and informed, young people are likely to make conscious business decisions based on their personal views. A young person who cares deeply about animal welfare, will not purchase a product that contains palm oil. Furthermore, they are able to find out more information, and spread their decisions with their networks faster than ever before, meaning decisions could extend out to many other young people. This trend is likely to strengthen with each up-coming generation being more informed and more connected. If businesses hope to survive they will need to begin to respond to the demands of young people.
Catering for and marketing to youth is very different to encouraging youth participation. Businesses must be able to do both if they hope to remain successful in the future.
Monica, 22, Australia