Is your brand considered “cool?” Are you “cooler” than your competitors are? Do people even use the word “cool” anymore? Running a successful business requires you to have your finger on the pulse of your target demographic. You need to understand your intended customer base and deliver products and services that are in line with their needs, values, and priorities.
In my practice as a business law attorney, I have helped many business owners develop strategies for reaching new consumers. Doing so, however, is not a one-shot deal, as companies must evolve to meet the changing demands of their customers or risk losing out to those who are willing to adapt. It is also important for your company to be seen as relevant, in-touch, and socially responsible. In short, your business and brand have to be cool.
When it comes to cool, YouTube reigns supreme, at least according to today’s teenagers. A recently-released study found that among Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 think the video sharing brand is the coolest, with Netflix and Google not far behind. Interestingly, the study was commissioned by Google, which also owns the YouTube brand.
The study indicated that teens think something is “cool” if they find it to be “unique, impressive, interesting, amazing or awesome. Cool things bring “joy or happiness” and “stand out from everything.” Perhaps, then, it is rather unsurprising that of the 122 brands that teens were asked to rank in terms of their awareness of the brand and how cool each one is, technology and recreational brands fared extremely well. The top 10 most-recognized and coolest brands included four internet-related household names—five if you count the GoPro camera system as internet-related—two video game systems, two snack foods, and one sports apparel company:
On the other end of the spectrum were brands that teens knew little about or thought that they were less cool, including The Wall Street Journal, which finished dead last. McDonald’s, TMZ, Sprint, and Yahoo did not fare very well either, despite widespread brand awareness.
Of course, a survey of teens should always be taken with the understanding that they may not be as worldly-wise as their adult counterparts are. As such, many media outlets have taken the opportunity to critique Google’s research, suggesting that it is heavy on buzzword brands and that the entire study is little more than a self-serving promotional effort.
There is some value for business owners, however. While your business may not be designed to reach teenagers—even in your own neighborhood—it is useful to know what types of products and services currently capture their attention. The importance of brands they think are uncool now will become clearer over time, but this generation’s foundation in technology is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Developing Your Brand
If you are a business owner looking to rebrand your company and reach a wider customer-base, we can help. Contact an experienced Naperville business law attorney to discuss branding strategies today. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation at The Gierach Law Firm.