While much has been written about the millennial generation and how brands can effectively market to them, the next generation of consumers are waiting in the wings and already wielding significant spending and influencing power. Marketers ignore them at their peril.
Plurals, those born from 1997 onwards, are the most cashed up and digitally connected group we have ever known. And far from sitting back and letting their parents make purchasing decisions alone, they are increasingly helping to shape how and where the household’s finances are being directed.
The average Aussie kid now reaps $14 a week in pocket money, according to Cartoon Network’s New Generations survey of the media consumption and spending habits of kids aged between four and 14. And when monetary gifts and paid work is taken into consideration, this group has an annual spending power of $1.8 billion. In addition, parents say their children are helping guide them to decide on everything from what goes into their lunch box, to where the family goes on holiday and even their preferred hotel.
Kids influencing their parents on what to buy is nothing new of course. What has changed is the diversity of influence that they now possess. Not only are more kids directly impacting the path to purchase for everyday items such as books, toys, clothes, toiletries, but they now also hold sway over preferred car brands and travel destinations. The research indicates that kids whose parents may be looking to go on a holiday, for example, are now suggesting accommodation, airlines and what activities each destination offers.
So why is this generation different to the one that went before? Plurals, like no other, are consuming media, and in particular TV and digital media, very much on their own terms. As digital natives they access the internet when and where they want across multiple devices and with greater frequency. As a result they are much more informed and able to contribute meaningfully when it comes to purchasing decision making.
For some marketers, this is still fertile and relatively untapped territory. It’s a level of consumer sophistication we have never encountered from this age group and it should be a catalyst for brands to rethink how they engage with this audience. Not only are kids increasingly more active in helping their parents make instantaneous purchasing decisions, but the Plurals generation are the highly prized consumers of tomorrow in their own right. By building brand equity from an early age and doing it in a way that fits in with their media habits, forward-thinking advertisers can only benefit in the long-term.
Millennials look out. There are some new kids on the block.
By David Webb
Director of research and planning at Turner Asia Pacific