In the past few years, young people lived in the moment and it was all about experiences. Now, the lockdown has given them time to reflect on what is more important, making them ultra-intentional about their choices, states Ronen Aires, Founder and CEO of Student Village.

Brands need to be on board with supporting youth, their communities and making a positive impact on the world, otherwise they will be unfollowed in an instant and deemed irrelevant.

There’s only one way for a business to thrive in the youth market post Covid-19 and it requires taking responsibility – taking responsibility to level up your offering, practices and communication to be attuned with what young consumers really need from you. Spoiler alert: they just need you to care. 

Young people care about empowering themselves and their community. So what do they want more than your product? Your support. You need to have their back. They need your offering to support their entrepreneurial journey, and they need you to care about the environment and to connect them with their dreams.

Here are 10 key care-related questions businesses should ask themselves in order to level up.  

1. Do you care about load sharing?

Income sources are down, there is less money to play with and it has been a real downer to lose some financial independence. Think about what your brand is doing to show that it is conscious of lightening the load that many young people are facing right now.

2. Do you care about my best version?

Motivated by the aspiration of being an influencer and self-improvement trends, young people are authentically dedicated to becoming their best. How can you help them get there? 

3. Do you care about education for elevation?

Short digital courses have become a loved pastime and are seen as the ticket to freedom, which young people are geared towards. There is an authentic desire for cheaper, shorter courses. Brands developing their own unique courses or workshops are not only generating a new revenue stream but are also providing for what people are seeking.   

4. Do you care about local?

‘Glocal’ is the word, in fact. While a global mentality is being cultivated, young people want to see emerging South African brands supported and realistic representations of themselves in the media. They are truly passionate about improving the local economy with a global mindset i.e.: #Glocal.

5. Do you care about health?

Health, as in both the physical and mental health of your consumers and the health of the planet. Is your brand implementing strategies that speak to the health revolution? 

6. Do you care about the entrepreneurial fire?

Instapreneurs are real. The hustle fire in South Africa is real, and young people are more interested than ever before in becoming digital entrepreneurs. They want you to recognise and support them. What can your brand do to support entrepreneurs?

7. Do you care about the digital hustle?

E-commerce is essential. Young people are making the majority of their purchases online, and entire businesses are being built purely within Instagram. Your products and services need to be accessible digitally, so get on board and get online.  

8. Do you care about the tribe?

Young people’s teams are important to them. Brands that cultivate and support special interest communities and create deals that are shareable with friends and family are winning. 

9. Do you care about creating memorable experiences?

After an extended lack of social time, young people are itching to get back in the game as lockdown eases. Unique, intimate and Instagrammable social gatherings are going to be in huge demand, so think about whether you can play a part in bringing people together again – with social distancing measures in place of course. 

10. Are you caring about sharing?

Creating content, products and services that people truly want to share and shout about on social media ultimately helps brands. It is going to take levelling up to new standards of creativity and authenticity to be seen and shared above all the noise. 

We can’t deny that the post-Covid-19 world requires levelling up, and it is the youth who are pushing brands to drive the positive change that they want to see and benefit from. Now, more than ever is the perfect opportunity for brands to branch out, speak up and truly engage with the youth.