Insights Scoop

American Teenagers: How to Authentically Engage

Are you effectively engaging teenagers, one of the youngest, most diverse, and tech-savvy consumer segments in America?

Do you know how teens’ behaviors and attitudes compare to the mindset of older Gen Z and the rest of the U.S. population? If not, then you are missing an opportunity to connect with the cohort that’s going through the most crucial formative years, gaining spending and decision-making autonomy, and actively looking for brands that share their values and sensibilities. Keep reading to learn more about how Collage Group can help you win over teens now. 

Fill out the form for an excerpt from our American Teenagers: How to Authentically Engage presentation.

There are currently more than 25 million teens in America. Brands have an exciting opportunity to connect with these consumers who are making more independent spending decisions for themselves and even influencing some family shopping choices along the way. But since teens are among the most diverse cohorts of Americans to date, the goal of authentically connecting with them is becoming increasingly hard to attain. To fully capture the attention of today’s teens, organizations must learn to speak their language fluently, follow their lead into the digital spaces they inhabit, and better understand their priorities, hopes, and dreams.

Collage Group offers organizations the insights they need to fully understand today’s teen consumers and how they differ across race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual identity on important issues and topics — at both the consumer and category levels. This presentation dedicated to teens provides insights and inspiration for organizations looking to better understand and appreciate their teen audiences. Watch this webinar replay and download the PowerPoint presentation to explore:

  • External and internal drivers that shape teens’ values and behaviors
  • Their media and entertainment preferences with a special focus on social media and gaming
  • Teens’ decision-making and priorities in several product categories, including apparel, footwear, personal care, skincare, and beauty.

Several key findings and next steps from this presentation include:

Key Insight #1: Today’s teens are coming of age with an expectation of greater diversity in all aspects of life. They emphasize individuality, appreciate cultural differences, and prioritize staying true to who they are.


The demographic shift to a majority multicultural society, the rise of non-traditional households, and a more open discourse around sexual and gender identity recalibrate the lens through which today’s youth see themselves and others. Teen girls and LGBTQ+ teens have especially high hopes for brands to commit to better representation of people of all backgrounds in marketing and advertising.

 Action Steps:

  • Reflect America’s growing diversity in your advertising. Start working now to win and build relationships with teens by learning to connect with culturally diverse Americans.

Key Insight #2: Many teens are keenly aware of the issues poised to shape their current and future reality. They are compelled to act and many will reward or punish brands for the social stances they choose to take.


While they are still in the early stages of life and lack tangible political power, game-changing teens feel the urgency to actively advocate and take charge of their futures. They are concerned about many important issues of the day: from racism and gun violence to women’s rights and abortion laws. Many perceive adults as inert, and the decision-makers as completely disconnected from the views of future generations of Americans. Armed with instant and constant access to news and via social media, teens feel an even greater urge to act.

 Action Steps:

  • Look for opportunities to be an ally to these young Americans. But to earn trust, engage in issues that are authentically aligned with your brand values.

This blog includes a small sample of the deep cultural intelligence available to our members. Contact us to learn how you can unlock full access to our cultural intelligence engine.

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