May 12, 2016 11:04 ET

College, Snapchat, Wearables, Unfollowing, and Music

Fuse Insights - May 2016

BURLINGTON, VT--(Marketwired - May 12, 2016) - Fuse monthly insights cover sports, music, fashion and other relevant cultural interests as it relates to teen & Millennial brand marketing.

Strategy: College Marketing is a Bigger Opportunity Than Most Brands Realize
It's time to stop visualizing three 19 year olds sitting under a tree in the campus quad every time you hear "college marketing." In truth, less than a third of U.S. undergraduates are "traditional" full-time, degree-seeking students at residential four-year colleges. Most brands are missing out on reaching the nearly half of all college students that attend community colleges, the 25% that attend part time, and the quarter that are 25 years old or older.

And while it might seem easy enough to develop an additional strategy to reach these students where they are, the greater challenge for many brands is in creating relevancy with them. Unlike traditional students -- especially students at elite colleges -- non-traditional students are mostly concerned with their cost of education, alcohol abuse, and stress. For more on the ill-advised focus of the media on elite college students, check out Ben Casselman's "Shut Up About Harvard."

Social Media: It's Time to Adopt a Snapchat Strategy
For the first time in a large-scale study (Piper Jaffray's "Taking Stock with Teens"), teens cited Snapchat as the most important social media platform. For the many brands that have taken a wait-and-see approach to Snapchat, that time is over. Snapchat boasts 100 million daily active users, 8 billion views per day, and reaches over 40% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. Developing a Snapchat strategy should start with these three elements -- straight from Nick Bell, Snapchat's VP of Content:

  • Use On-Demand Geofilters to create and distribute a custom filter in a specific area for a set time
  • Consumers love Snapchat because it's fun, so keep it that way
  • Not knowing the (Snapchat) product is the biggest killer to most ventures

Read more from Snapchat's Nick Bell in Forbes.

Experiential: Wearable Tech is Event Marketing's Next Opportunity
2015 was an important year in fitness technology with companies like Apple and Fitbit dominating the fitness tracking space. But those technologies are just the beginning.

The next few years will see major advances in wearables and holographic headsets - technologies that will be utilized by experiential marketers.

Wearables allow consumers to learn about their body's response to stimuli. Experiential marketers will devise ways to use wearables to measure a consumer's reaction to their product or event experience. A central part of this evolution will be smartwatches, which will progress from a sensor device to a central hub for all wearable tech. Thus, Apple, Google, and Samsung smartwatches are likely to be part of an experiential marketer's toolkit.

Holographic headsets provide consumers the opportunity to explore, interact, and learn by experiencing outside environments. Events and sponsors will provide consumers with holographic headsets, not to separate them from the live event they are attending, but to provide another immersive way to sample and discover a brand. To read more about the wearable tech market, see The Motley Fool.

Digital: Why Consumers Disengage from a Brand's Digital Media
Marketers have improved greatly at engaging teens and young adults -- mainly using quality content. But we don't often concentrate on why consumers unfollow brands on social media or unsubscribe to other content. Repetitive content, receiving content too frequently, and content that doesn't fit a need are among the reasons consumers disengage.

The most intriguing insight in a recent Social Times piece was about consumers unfollowing based on brands posting content unrelated to their brand. In trying to strike a balance between content that is brand-centric versus lifestyle, it seems as though some brands have gone too far in trying to be culturally relevant, and as a result they are being unfollowed on the basis of not understanding their role in their consumers' digital lives. To read more about consumer disengagement, see Social Times.

Creative: Learn What Kind of Music Will Move You and Your Customers
Are you targeting consumers that like rules or are they guided by emotion? According to some fascinating research conducted at University of Cambridge, a person's thinking style says a lot about their music preferences. You can take the quiz the researchers created at

We believe the Cambridge research has marketing implications: if a consumer's thinking style can be linked to their music preference, brands can include musical taste in their consumer profiling and make creative decisions informed by this. Brands targeting emotional thinkers might use music that creates an emotional rush (think Adele). Brands targeting logical thinkers might use intense, even manic music (think classical or punk). Read more about this research at The Telegraph.

For more teen and Millennial insights or information about Fuse, visit:

About Fuse
Fuse is a marketing agency founded in 1995 that connects brands with teens and young adults through sports, music, fashion, video gaming and other relevant cultural interests. Fuse's services include consumer insights, brand strategy, public relations, experiential marketing, creative services, and social media. The Fuse staff, led by Partners Bill Carter, Issa Sawabini and Brett Smith, is comprised of marketing professionals and cultural experts who have worked for some of the most prominent brands and agencies in the country. For more about Fuse, check out our website or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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