But Cohen eyes a wider audience age-wise for his company. “Our range of who we reach from a marketing perspective in Cornerstone really reaches from 15-40 year olds,” he says. “I think there’s a situation where you can conduct the same campaign that is just as exciting to an 18-year old as maybe it is to a 38-year old. I think of brands and product launches that you think are going to appeal to a certain demographic and then you see them skewing older. You look at certain things that appeal one way and they have a much wider and older appeal than you would ever consider.”
Cohen cites one of today’s most popular portable items as a clear example of the shift in core audience. “The iPod is a great example of that. You would think that the core iPod users would be 18-24 year olds, and I haven’t seen statistics, but I would venture to say that 30-40 year olds would make up a big, big percentage of who owns and is so passionate about the iPod.”
Still, Cohen sees the view from the other side of the fence as well, having friends who are also immersed in corporate America, and who may have subsequently lost touch with the “now” in terms of arts & entertainment. “I have some friends that absolutely fit the Grup description much like myself. We go out. We’ll see shows. We’ll hang out. You know, they’re into all those things. Then, I have another set of friends from college that are more corporate and that can’t relate and have no idea who the Shins are. So it’s pretty funny to see both dynamics. He adds, “It’s when people end up in fields and in situations that take them away, that’s where they have to work a lot harder if they want to stay in the loop and stay relevant, and it also comes down to what’s important to you.”
What’s important to Jon Cohen, like many of his fellow Grups, is a coalescing of lifestyle, profession and family. And in this case, the only thing that provides almost equal leverage to that of his kids is music and the marketing surrounding it. Cohen asserts that beyond just the cool reputation that precedes them, Grups are an untapped goldmine for progressive brands.
“I think, not just from a music perspective, the beauty is from a marketing perspective, you have a demographic that has more disposable income,” Cohen adds. “So when you look at it from a brand’s perspective and the way they conduct their online campaigns and their traditional and non-traditional advertising campaigns, you’re able to reach a consumer that has an appeal to that culture that has more buying power than it has had in the past.”
Buying power intact, Grups have provoked one of the more interesting stopgaps in the media and marketing funnel. But whether they’re just some flash-in-the-pan audience, or the next demographic mutation as a result of the digital age, it’s this stroller-pushing, Bloc Party-rocking, $400 denim-sporting group of upscale fashionistas that should have marketers listening.
Sometimes, paradox can pay off.