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Chapter 7

CHAPTER 7 Kids Influencing Family Purchases.doc

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Sociology 2172A/B
Gale Cassidy

- CHAPTER 7- KIDS INFLUENCING FAMILY PURCHASES - beyond the primary market is the impact of kids influencing more purchases by getting their parents to buy other things for them and the family - the influence market ➔ five to seven times the size of the primary market, impacts businesses far beyond any traditional notion of a “kid business” - over $500 billion up for grabs - The Nag- Giving In Means Big Business - a survey called “The Nag Factor” done in 1998-99 by Western International Media Corp. - found that between 20-40% of sales of toys, fast food and apparel are the result of kids’ successful appeals to their parents - Gene Del Vecchio calls this influence “Pester Power” - “Nag Factor” - the Western International Media Corp. survey revealed that most parents would prefer Burger King or Pizza Hut rather than McDonald’s - but Pester Power takes them to McDonald’s anyways - this dynamic has made McDonald’s one of the most successful businesses in the world - but what was revealing in this study was that in some categories the nagging mattered more because the parents claimed they would not have bought the item if the kids had not asked for it - this makes a big difference to a businessperson who may assume that adult awareness or distribution, or even the pricing of an item, is enough to elicit a sales response - without that extra yank on the sleeve, almost 50% of parents would not purchase the toy, or 30% of parents would not get the movie - Two Types of Nagging - nagging can take on two forms: persistent and importance nagging - Persistence Nagging - persistence nagging is the most annoying kind, where the request is repeated with increasing volume and intensity over time - the younger the child, the more likely persistent nagging is his or her technique - this type of nagging, which puts parents’ backs up, isn’t as effective as importance nagging - Importance Nagging - importance nagging requires some level of sophistication in manipulation - usually appeals to the parents’ desire to provide the best for their kids, an aspiration often associated with boomer parents - who wants the neighbourhood to think they can’t afford to get their kid the latest bike? - parental ego goes a long way to help kids fuel their desire for “more” - James McNeal calls these requests a “style” and says children use a variety of these styles to get what they want - general appeals such as “You want me to be healthy don’t you?” or “You want me to be happy don’t you?” - overall, importance nagging works better according to the Western International Media survey but persistence can still make a difference in some businesses - if you can make kids want it, you can get their parents to buy it - some marketers also advertise to the parents to complement the pant- pulling technique - these parents are seen as “gatekeepers” and the goal is to soften them up so that they won’t shut down the requests - one cereal marketers calls them “Mean Moms” - and while parents want to do what is best for their kids today, there is little time and energy in their hectic lifestyle to deal with the battles of the no’s- parents pick and choose their battles - this influence can be seen in the increase in share of the pre-sweetened cereal market- one of the only segments in the cereal category that has experienced continual growth over the 1990’s - how does this happen? - lots of factors at play: dual-income families have more money to spend; the pace of life is quickened to the point where purchases fill the gap for other emotional or sociological needs; and parents like to involve kids in their decision making - when the requests for stuff begin, is it the pushiness of kids or the weakness of the parents that puts kids in the decision-making seat? - it is interesting to note that parents also rely on the kids’ input for family trips, computers, and cars - in the TRU teenstudy, 80% of teens claim to influence the family vacation versus 51% who claim to influence the choice of car - so it may not be the kids pushing in, but the parents opening the door - kids influence 40% of their parents’ purchases and that 65% of parents explicitly solicit children’s opinions about products used for the whole family - 71% of the mothers polled in the NPD Group study in 2000 said that their kids’ wishes are very influential - these 2500 mothers with children under 10 believed that their children’s influence was “more” important that advertising - 42% of kids tell adults which brands to buy all the time - Pushovers of Meanies? - it’s not just the nagging that helps kids get things, it also depends on the type of parents - research confirms the majority of parents (67%) do give in to their kids’ desires and demands - according to the same Western International Media Corp. study on the nag factor there are four attitudinal types of parents: - Indulgers ➔33% - Bare Necessities ➔31% - Conflicted ➔20% - Kids Pals ➔ 15% - Indulgers are the biggest segment of parents at 33%, and are what most people would call “the pushover parents” - they are described as parents who spend impulsively and enjoy the possessions they acquire - their average age is 35 and they have kids just up to their tween years -
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