Brand marketers, take note: There's a new family segment called "Tech Fast Forward" (TFF) that represents new opportunities for the future.
According to a just-released study by Ogilvy & Mather in partnership with Communispace, this emerging demographic is a household that uses more sophisticated technology than the average person and includes children ages 3 to 12.
The study (download it here or here) was conducted with 1200 tech savvy American kids and their families with at least one child between the ages of 3 and 12.
The report's key findings indicate that TFF families have a more positive mindset overall and express less anxiety about the future than other families. Parents in TFF families believe technology is helping their children develop critical skills that will empower them to navigate — and maybe even save — the world in years to come.
According to the researchers, the TFF segment is twice as likely to say their children's generation is better off than prior generations and three times more likely than the rest of the population to strongly agree that when their children's generation comes into power, they will "save the planet" and "the world will be better off because of how they will lead the way."
Indeed, it's the kids in these families that are pushing technology to the limit with their facile use of computers, video games and smartphones. The children learn via television, computer-based and online games and information, and they even assist their parents in making better use of technology.
Communispace and Ogilvy suggest that brand marketers could appeal to these tech-savvy families now and especially in the future by understanding twelve specific implications of the TFF household:
1. Mobilize tech optimism: Brands can help consumers create the brighter world they want to see.
2.Generation bending: Age is increasingly less relevant, since nobody acts their age anymore, so marketers should "market to kids as adults and to adults as kids."
3. Mine the family mindset: Marketing to the family as a unit is a strategy that will pay off, since more purchase decisions are becoming family decisions.
4. Play nice: These families want to associate with brands that represent kindness and tolerance.
5. Curate unexpected connections: Connections are global now, and brands that can help consumers gain worldwide access will succeed over others.
6. Put the world to work for you: TFF families see wisdom in crowds and are influenced by others they trust; brands can leverage this.
7. Turn up the intensity of shared experiences: Brands should consider partnering with artists to enhance and deepen brand involvement.
8. Respect the mode: "Multi-modal" is a way of life; brands that can be flexible will be able to take advantage of consumers' switching between modes of separation and integration.
9. Un-connect the dots: Brand marketers need to let consumers interpret the brand and make the brand's story their own.
10. Build gated online communities: Safety and privacy are increasingly important; brands should build private communities, which help consumers feel secure and confident when engaging with a brand online.
11. Get serious about game play: Everyone is playing games, not just kids. Consumers want to have fun with brands.
12. Let people mess with your brand: Companies need to enable consumer to reimagine and remix brand assets.
Obviously, the Tech Fast Forward research study offers a great deal of food for thought for brand marketers. Find out more in the video below.