The power of kids

Before I read Kidfluence, I thought that marketing to kids was little more than a manipulation of young, pliable minds for shameless pecuniary gain. Where's the challenge (or morality) in that? But it turns out that kid cultures today are extremely marketing savvy and brand aware - more so than their parents - and as such they present quite a challenge to marketers. You don't just have to get under their radar, you have to outrun their arsenal of laser-guided Exocet missiles.

Kidfluence: Why Kids Today Mean Business,

by Anne Sutherland

& Beth Thompson

Before I read Kidfluence, I thought that marketing to kids was little more than a manipulation of young, pliable minds for shameless pecuniary gain. Where’s the challenge (or morality) in that? But it turns out that kid cultures today are extremely marketing savvy and brand aware – more so than their parents – and as such they present quite a challenge to marketers. You don’t just have to get under their radar, you have to outrun their arsenal of laser-guided Exocet missiles.

The baby boomers are one of the most self-absorbed, hedonistic generations seen in modern times. And (surprise, surprise) they have taught their kids to be just like them. Whereas the boomers are the ‘me’ generation, their kids have taken that a step further to create the ‘more’ generation. Having grown up in unparalleled prosperity, entitlement to satisfaction of their every whim is the order of the day.

Combine this with permissive, absentee parenting styles and these little Donald Trumps have more spending power than ever before in history. Some estimates run to $115 billion in Canada and the U.S. That doesn’t even include their influence over family spending decisions, which reach far beyond what you’d normally consider to be kid stuff.

Kidfluence is less about how to reach kids and more about stats and facts and psychobabble explaining why kids have so much spending power today. You won’t learn how to speak their language or understand their world, but you’ll learn why you should do so.

If you market to kids, you’ve probably either read this book or already know much of what’s in it. If you don’t think that you market to kids, think again.

According to Kidfluence, you may be missing some key decision makers if you ignore this demographic. However, you’ll likely have to look further than this book to get hard and fast information on how to reach them.

BookMark Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Mark Szabo is an account director with Parallel in Calgary. He can be reached at mark.szabo@parallel.ca.