Thursday, June 03, 2010

how to do youth marketing

I'm sure we're all familiar with the 'Diffusion of Innovations' theory - how, why, and how quickly new ideas spread throughout cultures.

The concept was popularised in 'The Diffusion of Innovations' (Everett Rogers 1962) also adapted and illustrated by the famous adoption lifecycle curve as used by Geoffrey A. Moore in the tech marketing tome 'Crossing the Chasm'and in Gladwell's 'The Tipping Point', amongst others.

For the non-academics amongst us, it's explained neatly, and in a youth marketing context, by American Bandstand legend Dick Clark in this excerpt from a feature in seminal 70's US rock journal Creem by the equally legendary Lester Bangs.

'Anything that's new takes a while before it gets disseminated across the country...You get the J.C. Penney versions of fashions of what the style leaders are wearing.

There's an interesting premise in all of this, in the youth world, you take the lunatic fringe, the avant-garde, the style leaders, the nuts.

And if you are careful enough to determine what they come up with that's a legitimate trend, then you'll be able to figure out eventually what the people in the middle...will be doing in the next couple of months'

Look to the freaks-in-our-midst as Tom Peters would say.

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