I changed my shirt four or five times yesterday morning.  

Instagram, Sneakers, and Clout; How to Market to 18 Year Old Girls

Each time, I would look in the mirror and nervously wonder if my current garment was the proper apparel for my first day working at Marketing Eye.  I graduated high school four months ago and recently flew across the world to start an internship at a successful marketing company and to be honest...I don’t know much about marketing.  Day by day I will learn, but for now, all I know is what grabs my attention.  I’m an instagram-using, New York shopping, snapchat fiending, VSCO loving, socialite following, 18 year old girl.  So I guess it’s only appropriate for me to start with how businesses should be marketing to 18 year old girls.

Craving Clout
Teenage girls want a look. We are all about increasing our “clout,” which is basically how cool and influential you are. Someone with clout has a distinct style that is slightly edgy and you can bet her instagram feed is very aesthetic. So give us more clout. We want to fit in and also stand out. So how can your company help us do that?  How can you make me fit in with the other girls but also allow me to express my individuality?

The Starred Sneakers
I constantly see Golden Goose Deluxe Brand sneakers in my social media feeds and on the streets.  Although they are expensive, they are all over girls’ wish lists. Many 18 year old girls would be able to spot the Golden Goose sneakers out of a whole pile of shoes and that’s because they have a distinct look.  A star smacked right onto the side of all of them. However, it’s hard to ever spot the same pair because GGDB makes sure to push out as many unique looking shoes as possible. Sparkly, camo, metallic, velvet, bright colors, dark colors, chevron…you name it, they’ve got it on a shoe.  In my opinion, they’ve hit the sweet spot for marketing to teenage girls.

18 Year Old Girl Market
It’s hard though, for a business to push its way into the 18 year old girl market.  We don’t listen to commercials and for the most part we scroll past ads on our social medias.  The few times that I have stopped and clicked on an ad have been when I either already recognize a brand or the product is unique and will in turn make my overall look more individualized.  

The Key
What makes me go out looking for a product is when I see multiple clouty girls (socialites, celebrities, or even just a girl who went to a different high school in my area) wearing or using something all over instagram, VSCO, and snapchat.  Whether it’s a bathing suit that I see different people wearing over spring break or many snapchat stories of the new bubbly water that everyone loves so much, being able to get me to recognize a product is key.

Jumping onto the Bandwagon
When us 18 year old girls start recognizing a product and see more people wearing it, we want to buy it and jump on that bandwagon before our other friends do. Saying, “yeah, but I had it before it really became a thing,” is perhaps one of the most satisfying comments to make.  So while it’s hard to grab our attention, we might also be the easiest group to sell to as we are willing to buy some ridiculous things and all the bubbly water in the world as long as it gives us even a little bit more clout.

Next blog coming soon,
Annika Goldman
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Marketing Eye

Marketing Eye is Australia’s leading marketing consultancy firm for small to medium sized businesses.

Established in 2004, Marketing Eye works with small businesses that are looking for high growth and improved brand visibility.


  • Nick Giordano

    Wow! Insightful!

  • Ashlee

    I don't think this is something that ever goes out of style. People of a certain age (generally, sometimes it can just be a certain kind of person) all crave to have 'clout'. This isn't something new. I remember growing up once puberty strikes and socially things become more difficult to navigate, we all carve to fit in all the more yet stand out at the same time. I think we all want to belong somehwere and within a group, companies have merely ingrained in us that we have to but things to feel that way. At 23 I'd like to think I'm growing out of this, but if a new friend wears something cute I will seek out the store it came from next time I go shopping. Maybe we never really grow out of it. But unlike when I was a teen, I'm less likely to buy into it too much, especially when we have bills to pay. Then again, maybe I just like to think I'm like that.

    Great work on this article Annika, really thought-provoking and I love how you inserted some vulnerability into it. It makes this post all the more powerful. I look forward to reading your future posts, I can see why Mellissah Smith was so impressed! :D

  • Lewis

    Amazing blog, really informative

  • Mel Smith
    Mel Smith

    Great blog Annika!

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