Urban appetite: companies change focus to appeal to young, inner-city consumers.They seemed an odd couple at first--one a conservative and established institution, the other a group of energetic disciples of hip-hop culture. But when the U.S. Postal Service The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) processes and delivers mail to individuals and businesses within the United States. The service seeks to improve its performance through the development of efficient mail-handling systems and operates its own planning and engineering programs. joined the 135th Street Agency to throw a media reception in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of , it was a match made in heaven. The two businesses came together to promote the June campaign of the African American African American Multiculture A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. See Race. Heritage Stamps series Pioneers in Black Music. "We had MTV MTV
in full Music Television
U.S. cable television network, established in 1980 to present videos of musicians and singers performing new rock music. MTV won a wide following among rock-music fans worldwide and greatly affected the popular-music business. there, The New York Post The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and the oldest to have been published continually as a daily. Since 1976, it has been owned by Australian-born billionaire Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and is one of the 10 , AllHipHop.com, Hot 97," says Shante Bacon, founder of 135th Street Agency, a New York-based marketing, advertising, and public relations public relations, activities and policies used to create public interest in a person, idea, product, institution, or business establishment. By its nature, public relations is devoted to serving particular interests by presenting them to the public in the most firm that specializes in helping companies reach the urban youth consumer. "These are media outlets that wouldn't have been targeted by the Postal Service postal service, arrangements made by a government for the transmission of letters, packages, and periodicals, and for related services. Early courier systems for government use were organized in the Persian Empire under Cyrus, in the Roman Empire, and in medieval ."
Bacon, 28, along with partner Saptosa Foster, 29, invited media guests to a USPS (1) (Uninterruptible Switching Power Supply) A power supply for a computer that contains its own battery and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) circuitry. See power supply and UPS. reception at the Harlem Tea Room in New York. The agency cleverly tied in the promotion of the Pioneers in Black Music series, which features stamps of legends such as John Coltrane “Coltrane” redirects here. For other uses, see Coltrane (disambiguation).
John William Coltrane (September 23 1926 – July 17 1967), nicknamed Trane, was an American jazz saxophonist and composer. , Paul Robeson, and Marian Anderson, with Black Music Month. "The marketing campaign was very successful," says Monica Hand, manager of USPS public affairs and communications. "I was very impressed with the number of young people working in the PR and marketing industry and their genuine interest in the Postal Service." The Postal Service awarded 135th Street Agency with a $100,000 marketing contract in August.
Foster, a freelance writer for Vibe and XXL XXL Extra Extra Large
XXL Extra Extra Long magazines, understands the influence of the urban consumer: "They're driving pop culture. They're coming up with the language, the clothing, everything."
Government agencies, corporate America, nonprofits, and businesses small and large are taking note. They recognize that young urbanites are viable, cash-wielding consumers ready to support their business. According to Packaged Facts, a publishing division of MarketResearch.com, 15- to 24-year-olds spend $485 billion annually. But there's a way to communicate with them and it isn't always with a rap lyric. "You have to be in their lives," says Carl Rouche Washington, president of Los Angeles-based Urban Marketing Corporation of America. "You have to pay attention to the market. Go grassroots, pump up the volume, and be aggressive."
TRY THE FOLLOWING TACTICS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS MORE APPEALING TO THE URBAN CONSUMER:
1 GO WHERE THEY ARE
Think of ways to bring the product to the typical hangout of the urban youth consumer. Are they at the mall? At city parks? Pick the places where you can "create a momentum of emotion," says Washington. Think of marketing campaigns that might mesh well with All-Star Weekend or the NBA Finals.
2 PERFECT YOUR PRESENCE
Once you've determined your message, make sure it's clear and consistent. For example, if you've got a booth set up at an event, the people working at the booth should resemble your target market in dress and attitude.
3 GET ATTENTION WITH CULTURAL ICONS
"Know the influences of your target market," Washington says. Could Snoop Dogg also sell your idea? If you can't afford the latest hip-hop artist or athlete, make sure the face representing your product is one your audience will relate to, Washington advises.
4 MAKE SURE YOUR PRODUCT IS RELEVANT
Your product must make sense to the young urban consumer. "The product is crucial. If it isn't relevant, you can sell all day for nothing," says Washington, who uses Nike as a good example of a company that knows its product and audience.