Thing #1: 35 Second Rule
Just like your Mom always told you, first impressions matter. However, teens are less forgiving than the average demographic. The first 35 seconds a teen spends with your app determines whether users will give you a real chance or never come back. If the app is slow to load, the design isn’t intuitive, too many permissions to go through, or ads are too intrusive, they’ll just delete and never look back. Why 35 seconds? For some, that’s a little generous and you’ll have even less time to win them over. If you’re not delighting enough users in the first 35 seconds then you should stay under the radar until you fix it so you don’t poison your audience.
Thing #2: It Starts with Your Brand
Interestingly enough, teens eat up brand names. Think about the Kylie Lip Kits or the brand Triangl Swimwear. Arguably, these products are not THAT special compared to their competitors. So why do teens gravitate to these specific products? Ultimately, it is because of the brand image these companies have built. With a sleek and well built image, teens are far more likely to be attracted to your product. The ultimate goal should be for teens to want to promote your product through their own will. Often, social media will play a key role in the creation of an appealing image. Through a coherent and well thought out Instagram page, for example, you can have a teen hooked in seconds. If your voice speaks loud through your product and your image mirrors your message, you have a recipe for pure gold.
Thing #3: Friends are followers
The common assumption that teens want to fit in holds true with technology and brands. When it comes to consumption, teens want to feel connected to their friends and what they are doing. Just look at the success of social media platforms Snapchat and Instagram that spread like a wildfire. When teens enjoy a particular product or service, they aren’t afraid to tell their friends. The goal is to make something shareable and simple. Teens want to be a part of the apps, experiences and brands their friends are using to feel included. Take the app Pinterest: one of its great qualities is its interactive experience with other users for discovering new and exciting fashion, style, travel, and food trends. Friends can easily connect through one common interest, making Pinterest an app that quickly circulates among groups of teens. We want to feel connected and be a part of something, and this affects not only our social lives but our consumption.
Thing #4: Follow Justin Bieber’s Lead and Find Some Purpose:
Teens feel the pressure and stress of time 24/7, as we are slammed with school, friends, after school activities, and maintaining some form of sanity. Teens deeply value the brands that help our lives and facilitate some form of happiness and satisfaction. Essentially the right word to describe this is purpose. Ultimately, this just means that we want to feel like the extra things we do in our lives add value, through either making our lives easier or providing some other positive experience. So what does it mean for a product to have purpose? Snapchat’s goal is allow people to live in the moment through sharing their experiences and communicating through photos. Venmo’s goal is to make sending money as simple as possible. Notice how these brands’ missions can be easily described, without a complex string of explanations. Purpose simply means that you have one goal, and that you aim to achieve that one goal. Of course, it is ok to have many features, as long as there is one overarching goal. Without the feeling of purpose, your product runs the risk of getting lost in the abyss with the plethora of other brands out there.