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Teenage consultants?

December 8, 2016

By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Enough about Millennials, let’s talk about the generation that follows them – Generation Z.  For many organizations, this is the next group of people you’ll need to be marketing to as well as recruiting.  They are our current teenagers.  This group is often misunderstood and poses a growing challenge to marketers and recruiters from organizations across various industries.  Now there is a solution.  Meet Jüv.

Jüv is a consulting firm made up of teenagers that provides “current, curated, and creative solutions” to targeting teenagers.  The firm was created by two ambitious teens, Melinda Guo and Ziad Ahmed.  They met at a summer camp at Cornell University and both shared an interest in business, marketing, and philanthropy.   They are part of Generation Z – those born after 1996.  They make up nearly 25% of the U.S. population and possess $44 billion in buying power.  Ziad stated, “We were coming across advertisements from big companies that were tone-deaf.  There was always too overt of an effort – it turns us off.  So why not consult on how teens think, since we are teens ourselves?”  They recruited a classmate of Ziad’s who had also attended the Cornell program, and Jüv was born.

All three teens are now 17 and seniors in high school and incorporated Jüv Consulting earlier this year. This summer they got their first clients.  They joined a marketing advisory board for the California Adolescent Health Collaborative and helped the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE) with multimedia production and branding. They also provided consulting services for Very Good Light, an online men’s grooming publication. The site’s founder, David Yi, stated, “If Very Good Light was going to be about Generation Z, I needed to closely work alongside them.”  Jüv advised him on a launch campaign, including branding and social media strategies that would resonate with teenagers. 

Although studies are showing that Generation Z is very entrepreneurial minded, the teens realize that they don’t necessarily represent the everyday teenager.  Therefore, they developed the Vine, a focus group of about 300 teens from various socioeconomic backgrounds around the world.  Generation Z is still forming and according to Jüv, they deserve a place at the corporate table. “Your company will profit more by working with us directly,” Ziad says.  

While Generation Z has many similarities to the millennial generation, keep your eye on the horizon for the differences and be sure to adjust your messaging and recruiting efforts accordingly.  And this could happen sooner than later.  In a recent study by Universum, nearly half (47%) of Generation Z respondents said they would consider entering the workforce straight from high school, and 60% said they would welcome employers offering education in their field in lieu of a college degree. “Waiting until the traditional cycle of recruiting people through internships or when they are 20 or 21 years old might be too late, because they’ve probably already begun doing research on companies,” said Melissa Murray Bailey, president for the Americas at Universum.  

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