Targeting Tweens

April 6, 2011: Targeting Tweens

“Kids, what’s the matter with kids today?” Yes, these are song lyrics from the musical “Bye, Bye Birdie.” But it’s also a question nearly every parent asks at some point. The truth is there’s nothing wrong with kids-in fact, they are a great market for entrepreneurs to target.

But, since the demographic is so enormous (there are more than 75 million children in the U.S. under the age of 18) it’s actually several different markets. If you’re just starting out, you might want to tackle the market in stages. ┬áThis week, we’re going to talk about tweens, generally considered ages 8-14.

Don’t think that because you’re targeting kids that this represents a small opportunity. As I noted in my e-book, 26 Hot Businesses to Start Right Now!, kids in general and tweens in particular actually control a tremendous amount of both direct and indirect purchasing power (the latter is called “pester power”). And Packaged Facts, a research company, reports that each of the nation’s more than 21 million tweens spends over $2,000 of their own money every year. Overall the group has a purchasing power of $43 billion. If you want to sell something to tweens, here are some of the things they buy most often:

  • Clothes over 16 times yearly
  • Electronics about 9 times yearly
  • Home furnishings almost 9 times yearly
  • They spend 17 percent of their money buying food

How do these kids spend their time? Playing computer games. If you know a tween, you won’t be surprised that 91 percent of boys and 93 percent of girls play games online. What about the rest of their time? Tweens spend at least one hour a day:

  • Online-83 percent
  • Watching TV-68 percent
  • Listening to the radio-29 percent
  • Reading magazines-10 percent
  • Reading newspapers-5 percent