Young Pros Need Love Too

If you're a recent college grad (read: out of school for five years or less) there's a good chance that you're broke, living with mom and dad or both. Unless you had the foresight to major in engineering, computer science, economics or finance you've probably been left to wonder, "Aren't I supposed to be making the big bucks now? I could make almost as much as I do now at my 9-to-5 bartending, and I wouldn't have to wake up till noon!".

Most of us understand that our measly salaries will not always be so meager, and our education will soon pay off once we are promoted and have paid our dues. After all, America can't afford millionaire CEOs if they are paying the grunts more than $30K a year, but I digress...

To help young professionals in their first few years I'm proposing brands acknowledge this economic hardship. I ask you, where is our Young Professional discount? Seniors get them. Students get them. Why not us?

It's no secret that many young pros are already taking advantage of some of these discounts by way of our old student IDs, but not all of us feel great about it.

Offering a young pro discount is a great way to encourage young pros to become brand advocates early on. While many 20-somethings are already brand loyal to Coke versus Pepsi and Apple versus PC, we don't hold many loyalties to banks, health care organizations or accountants. We are just starting to figure these things out, and a brand that talks directly to us will certainly become a winner. For instance, banks could offer young pros a slightly better rate on savings accounts, credit cards and/or loans. A bank that is willing to work with me, is a bank I'm going to stick with for a very long time.

This approach would also work well for the arts community. In college I had some money to burn. It was enough that I was able to see a couple shows at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts each year. Now that I'm a working gal I can't afford that luxury, but I get a call each year asking if I'd like to purchase a pack of tickets. If the Marcus Center offered a discounted package for young pros I would be much more likely to return, recruit friends, promote events and become a lifetime supporter. In short, the Marcus Center would become my performance venue of choice. Professional organizations are another group that could really benefit from this idea.

What do you think? Do you see the value in providing young pros with special discounts? Young pros, is this something you would be interested in?

3 comments:

I could not agree with you more...

January 4, 2010 at 8:13 PM  

The Milwaukee Rep actually DOES have a YP deal. They have quarterly events called "Entourage" (next on is 1/14, but I can't go)..where it's only $15 for a show + mingling with other YPs.

Additionally, the symphony has a series called Classical Connections that's priced slightly lower and open to everyone, but targeted to YPs.

I think folks are finally starting to come around to this!

And I hear ya, I didn't start making a "liveable" salary until I was 28. But instead of using it to "live," I'm now paying back the massive debt acquired during my gruntling years.

January 5, 2010 at 8:22 AM  

Meghan - I'm glad to hear about The Rep. Thanks for letting me know! For now I fear I am doomed to repeat your fate.

January 5, 2010 at 4:28 PM  

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