Brand loyalty begins in youth.  Teenagers are selective and continually on the lookout for brands that care, and this is especially true of teens who volunteer.  These charitable consumers enjoy supporting nonprofits and support brands that do the same.  When you connect with these special teens, you potentially score lifelong customers.

Who are these teens?

Many of these teens are cheerleaders. Following the example of most college cheerleading teams, many school cheerleading teams also require their athletes to participate in community service events like youth camps and community outreach.

Beyond required service, GfK MRI’s Teenmark study of 12-19 year olds recently found more than half of the teens had independently volunteered with a nonprofit during the past year.

These “do good teens” are special on many levels.  They’re more likely than typical teens to show early signs of brand loyalty, be leaders, have paying jobs, and be more open to certain types of messaging.

They are also more likely to support companies that back causes they deem worthy.  The top three causes these teens care about include religion (50%), youth (26%), and the homeless (22%).  Other top causes they value are the environment, health care and animal rights.

How to reach them

The easiest way to reach socially responsible teens is through smartphones and social media.  Although they use social media at rates similar to typical teens, they participate in some mobile activities differently.

For example, altruistic teens like redeeming mobile coupons, responding to ads via text messaging, voting in contests, and expressing their opinions on products.  They’re also more likely to use their phones to view advertisements and research purchases ahead of time.

How to connect with them

It’s one thing to reach altruistic teens, but how do you really connect with them?  Teens want to know you “walk the walk” with them and not just “talk the talk.”  To form genuine connections with these teens:

  • Align your brand:  Focus a portion of your philanthropic resources on developing partnerships and sponsorships with the same nonprofits where your teen customers volunteer.
  • Speak up: Use social and mobile media to tell teens what you’re doing to support their volunteer efforts.
  • Listen to them: Give teens opportunities to share their own experiences with volunteer work.  One idea is to hold an online photo contest where teens submit snaps of them volunteering.  Invite teens to vote for the winner online and reward them with a donation to a nonprofit of their choice.
  • Reward them: Show altruistic teens you appreciate all the good they do in the community.  Ideas to accomplish this include giving them special discounts or VIV status (“Very Important Volunteer”) at in-store events.

Varsity Spirit and Our Corporate Partners

Varsity Spirit works alongside our corporate partners to help them effectively connect with teenagers that value volunteering.  Contact us today, and let’s start the conversation about how we can get your brand in front of millions of the nation’s most spirited and influential teen leaders.