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Charmed Cause Marketing

Just as “the rich are different than us,” so too are teenagers.

How so? In their hearts and souls they aspire to make the world a better place. A study conducted earlier this year for the Christian aid charity World Vision found 13-17 year-olds were more likely than adults to say that helping others is more important than ever (90%), more likely to wish they could help others (88%) and more likely to do something active to support good causes (71%).

Notwithstanding the videos that appear on YouTube showing teens beating each other up at KFC or shooting each other at Taco Bell, like never before this aspirational desire to make the world a better place is baked into the zeitgeist of today’s teens.

Here's a case study:

In 2008 siblings Paige Cahue, Gage Cahue, and Tristan Garber… of Indianapolis… developed charms that fit through the eyelets of shoes. After a couple of months of prototyping they ordered a box of charms shaped like a pizza from a manufacturer and started selling them to everyone they knew in Indianapolis. And since they were all teenagers, they sold their Rivetz Charms at recess, at football games and other school functions.

Nowadays you can buy the Rivetz shaped like bugs, skulls, crosses, hearts, flowers, sports, ice cream cones, even Garfield. They’re available online for less than $5 or in a handful of retail stores in Indiana and Illinois.

Young entrepreneurship is a cool story by itself, but emblematic of their generation, the Cahue/Garber kids added a cause marketing element to their catalog of charms.

You can get Rivetz with pink ribbons, yellow ribbons (signifying support for the troops), and a puzzle piece (Autism Speaks' logo). These charms are awareness raisers, not fundraisers. But Rivetz will also help you build a school, church, or charity fundraiser built around sales of charms customized to your cause or school mascot.

The quote about the rich being different comes from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story Rich Boy. When Ernest Hemmingway, Fitzgerald’s contemporary, read Rich Boy his rejoinder was, yes, “The rich are different than us… they have more money.”

If I could paraphrase Hemmingway I would say, yes “teens are different than us… they have better hearts.”

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