Kids of Boomers Shop Till They Drop

Aug 29, 2002
George Anderson

Children of baby boomers are surpassing their parents in size and impact as the most coveted market ever, writes Seana Mulcahy, vice president, director of interactive media at Mullen. Approximately 88 million kids were born of 85 million parents in the U.S and Canada. Thirteen to 23 year olds are now the largest market in the country. They spend more than $150 billion annually.

They may be the boomers’ kids, but they’re a different breed altogether. Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation by Don Tapscott is a guide to this new generation dubbed the Net Generation (N Gen) for their affinity with technology. Because of their access to digital media, these young people learn, work, think, shop, and create differently than their parents.

Ms. Mulcahy offers these lessons learned about N Gen kids.

  • These kids of the baby boom generation are empowered by the Internet. They are comfortable researching, reaching out and representing their peer group online.

  • It’s hard to “wow” them online.

  • They view the Internet similarly to the way their parents view TV.

  • They are not simply observers. They participate online.

N Geners love advertising, if done right, according to Ms. Mulcahy. The trick is figuring it out. When advertising to kids, talk straight, she says.

Moderator Comment: How are N Geners affecting retail marketing and merchandising strategies and tactics? Are there any broad line retailers doing a particularly good job in developing a franchise with this consumer group? [George Anderson – Moderator]

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