According to Urban Dictionary, the online dictionary dedicated to current slang, "on fleek" is defined as, "the quality of being perfect, or on point." "Bae" is defined as "used by people on the internet who think it means baby, sweetie, etc."
If you're like me, vocabulary like this isn't exactly brought up in your everyday business meeting. But, if you've been noticing, these words are popping up here and there in some of the brands we see on a daily basis.
Taco Bell is showing off the "baerrito," Sour Patch Kids are talking about "on fleek" shoes, and IHOP can't get enough of the word "bruh." There's even an entire Twitter account dedicated to the brands very obviously trying to connect with a younger audience: Brands Saying Bae.
The need to connect with your audience is a universal need for each and every business, no matter the size. But there is a right and a wrong way to do it. One that will earn you the supportive, age-appropriate audience of your dreams and one that will land you on a Twitter account dedicated to strained branding.
First, know your audience.
For many reasons knowing who exactly your audience is is important: deciding where to market, how to market, and, in this case, which voice to use when marketing. If you're not trying to sell to a young audience, rest easy because internet speak and slang are not huge concerns to you and your brand. Taco Bell does a great job of knowing who their audience is. Filling their feeds with bright colors, hipster patrons, and just the right amount of slang, Taco Bell knows exactly who they're talking to.
Find your voice.
Like Taco Bell, each brand should have a unique voice tailored to the personality of the business and elicits a sense of understanding and support from its audience. The first step to finding your voice is to look at who your audience is. Even if you are reaching out to a younger audience, it's important to note that not every young person is the same- young is not a type. Not everyone under the age of 25 uses "on fleek." Denny's is a great example of have a very unique voice. They are silly, unique, funny, and exciting to follow. You're never quite sure what's going to come out of a Denny's tweet. They are definitely not for everybody, but they've nailed their personal voice and have a strong, cult-like following because of it.
Hire a recent college grad.
If your brand is the type to connect with a younger generation, by all means, hire a member of that generation, or someone close to it. It's easy to tell when a word comes up naturally, and when it was copy and pasted from Urban Dictionary. Even if your younger employees aren't dropping slang in and out of their office conversations (probably the best for a professional atmosphere anyway), they have definitely heard and been around the vocabulary more than your older employees. It's always a good idea to fill your office with employees who directly understand your audience. You'll feel closer to your audience, understand them better, and fit in like a couple of baes.