There was a time only about 30 or 40 years ago when children were not spoken of as spenders or customers but as savers and future consumers. Sure, they bought penny candy and an occasional soft drink, but retailers did not think of them as customers per se. They were more often perceived as "Mrs. Bohuslov's kids" who just happened to buy something while they were in the store. Children had money, but it was for saving, not spending. They were always saving up for something, but never actually seemed to buy very much. They would, for example, save up for a football or bicycle or even a college education, but usually these items and almost anything else they saved up for were bought by their parents or perhaps their grandparents. Children received allowances then perhaps as frequently as they do today. Their allowances were relatively smaller, however, and parents usually dictated the amount or percent that could be spent - and this also was often small. Parents would justify this strict guidance with such sayings as, "a penny saved is a penny earned," and "save for a rainy day."
[...] If parents insist on their children being consumers by giving them money and encouraging them to spend it, are they also giving approval to marketers to court their children as potential customers? We hear a lot of condemnation of marketers, particularly advertisers, for pursuing children as consumers, but from a business standpoint, it would be more surprising if they did not. Although children as consumers have become a normal part of our socio- economic fabric, parents are creating many problems for themselves, for their children and for marketers by giving their children money and the encouragement to spend it. [...]
[...] A range of advertising styles, techniques and channels are used to reach children and youth to foster brand loyalty and encourage product use. Some approaches are market segmentation; television advertising; sales promotions at schools, stores, and sporting events; multi media exposure; product placement Also retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers, the media, schools and corporate donors are creating mutually beneficial partnerships to gain access to and capture the attention of young consumers. One of their goals is to develop a market for tomorrow's adult consumers. [...]
[...] (This works especially well when kids recognize the characters from television and toy stores.) Interactive games and activities such as coloring pages, crossword puzzles and word searches featuring brand products and characters Clubs that kids can join, and contests they can enter to win prizes Banner ads linking visitors to other commercial websites Brand-related "e-cards" that kids can send to friends and family Similar marketing strategies are used to build relationships with older kids. Commercial websites for teens: Present them as being part of a teen subculture—no adults allowed! [...]
[...] The net result of this is that the children become a relatively big market segment for such items as sweets, snacks, soft drinks and toys as they pursue self-gratification and self-sufficiency. But, should children really be referred to as a market? According to the best-selling principles of marketing textbooks, the following four requirements must be met in order for a group to be considered a market: The people must need the product. That is, if children are referred to as a market for candy, for example, there must be a definable need for this product by this group. [...]
[...] Because marketers have taken an increasingly disciplined approach to market research, they have gained a wealth of information about children and teenagers. We will explain the research methods marketers use to gain information about young consumers to design targeted marketing campaigns. Then we will see an overview of the advertising techniques, styles, and channels marketers use to reach children and teenage youth. I. Young people: a market in extension Three Markets in One Today, children are viewed as a viable market by many manufacturers and retailers. [...]
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