Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Marketing to Kids: Our favorite titles

“The average 10-year-old has memorized about 400 brands, the average kindergartner can identify some 300 logos and from as early as age two kids are "bonded to brands." Some may call it brainwashing, others say it's genius; regardless of how you see it, the approach is the same: target young kids directly and consistently, appeal to them and not the adults in their lives and get your product name in their heads from as early an age as possible.” --- Juliet Schor, Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture

According to recent research “even in these tough economic times, tweens wield $43 billion in spending power annually, and influence the spending of billions more on everything from cell phones to vacations to automobiles.” Statistics also show that kids and tweens influence another $150 billion of their parents' spending. So what are we to do with this information?

Wherever you stand on the issue of marketing to kids and teens, there’s no disputing that (done right), an early investment in the kids and tweens business can be a driving force in your company’s future and long term success. The question is… how do you do it right?

We at Hopscotch Consulting spend a lot of time pondering this issue, advising companies on appropriate marketing campaigns and brand strategies that empower kids (and don't exploit.) We have lots of great ideas and insights; eventually we'll write our own book. In the meantime, we'd like to share a number of titles on the topic that tackle the issue of marketing to kids from multiple angles:

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives
By John Palfrey and Urs Gasser
As a lawyers who specialize in intellectual property and information issues, Palfrey and Gasser discuss the ways "downloading, text-messaging, massively multiplayer game-playing, YouTube-watching" youth are transforming society.

Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture
By Juliet Schor
Schor exposes what she believes to be a huge cesspool of materialism, consumerism and commercialization that perhaps is leading to a generation of kids that won't learn what is important and truly necessary in life.

Brand Child: Remarkable Insights into the Minds of Today's Global Kids & Their Relationships with Brands
By Martin Lindstrom and Patricia B. Seybold
Brand Child provides a comprehensive account on how current tweens perceive brands, react to marketing and decide to spend their considerable financial buying power.

Buy, Buy Baby: How Consumer Culture Manipulates Parents and Harms Young Minds
by Susan Gregory Thomas
"The moment a baby can see clearly, she becomes a consumer." Investigative journalist Thomas interviewed child development experts, product developers, marketing consultants and educators in this exposé on how marketers are targeting young minds - even before they leave the womb.

Consumer Kids: How Big Business is Grooming Our Children for Profit
By: Ed Mayo and Agnes Nairn
How do children become targeted by big business and why does it matter? Mayo and Nairn show how corporations have exploited and packaged childhood and why too much marketing can make you unhappy.

Creating Ever-Cool: A Marketer's Guide to a Kid's Heart
By: Gene Del Vecchio
What's secret formula for achieving “ever-cool” status- one of the key attributes that the most successful kids’ products have in common? Del Vecchio provides some great tips on how to best establish a lifelong relationship with the youth market.

Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail
By Kit Yarrow, Jayne O'Donnell
Yarrow and O'Donnell argue that Gen Y consumers have revolutionized the way Americans shop by turning traditional sales and marketing strategies upside down. The book offers an in-depth look at what motivates these young people to buy certain products and reject others.

Getting Wiser to Teens: More Insights into Marketing to Teenagers
By: Peter Zollo
This book gives readers a thorough understanding of what teens think, feel, and need, what they do, what they buy, and how marketers should--and shouldn't--reach them.

The Great Tween Buying Machine: Capturing Your Share of the Multi-Billion-Dollar Tween Market
By: David L. Siegel, Timothy J. Coffey, Gregory Livingston
What drives tweens, and what are the social and personal implications for this market? This book explores how this target market has changed over the last few years and reveals key information on how to expand a company's marketing base.

Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation
By: Don Tapscott
As a result of their access to the digital media, today’s kids, teens, and tweens learn, work, think, shop and create differently than their parents. This book provides valuable insights for marketers who wish to understand this new generation that is surrounded by high-tech toys and tools from birth (full disclosure- when some of us at Hopscotch were employed by back in the mid 1990s we worked with Don in providing many key insights)

The Kids Market: Myths and Realities
By: James U. McNeal
Called the "godfather of kids marketing," by U.S. News and World Report, James McNeal shares all his knowledge gained from years of experience marketing to kids in the USA and Asia.

Marketing to the New Super Consumer: Mom & Kid
By: Timothy Coffey, David Siegel and Gregory Livingston
Insights into understanding how moms make shopping decisions and how children are very much involved in the decision-making process.

Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online
By: Anastasia Goodstein
Ypulse founder and blogger Anastasia Goodstein explains how teens use technology--including the benefits and drawbacks--and how parents can set realistic boundaries in cyberspace.

What Kids Buy and Why

By: Daniel Acuff and Robert H Reiher
Grounded in brain development with a sound underpinning of why kids behave as they do at specific ages and across gender, Acuff and Reiher take you behind the scenes of many major successful brands.

Got a favorite book to share? Let us know!

1 comment:

Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter said...

Allison, I'm intrigued by your quest to find appropriate marketing campaigns directed at children and will be watching your progress. In the meantime, I'd add to your list:

Consuming Kids: Protecting our Children from the Onslaught of Marketing and Advertising by Susan Linn

So Sexy, So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to protect their Kids by Diane Levin and Jean Kilbourne

Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers by Alissa Quart

Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Benjamin Barber

and for the kids:

Hey Kidz! Buy this Book by Anne Elizabeth Moore