What Kids Buy And Why
The Psychology of Marketing To Kids
Dan S. Acuff, Ph.D. with Robert H. Reiher, Ph.D.
Quality Paperback, 216 pages, 6 x 9 1/2 inches
Publisher: Free Press (Simon & Schuster); ISBN: 0684871173; ©1997
Our price: $21.95
with today's kids? Here
is a one-stop tool for understanding what children of all ages want to buy.
If you're in the business of marketing or developing products and programs for
kids, What Kids Buy And Why belongs in your office.
How can you create outstanding products and
programs that will win in the marketplace and in the hearts of kids and parents?
Dan S. Acuff and Robert H. Reiher have invented a development and marketing
process called Youth Market Systems that puts the needs, abilities, and interests
of kids first. This system makes sure you won't miss the mark whether you're
trying to reach young children or teens, boys or girls, or whether you're selling
toys, sports equipment, snacks, school supplies, or software.
Based on the latest child
development research, What Kids Buy and Why is chock-full of provocative
information about the cognitive, emotional, and social needs of each age group.
This book tells you -- among other things -- why 3-through-7-year-olds love
things that transform, why 8-through-12-year-olds love to collect stuff, how
the play patterns of boys and girls differ, and why kids of all ages love slapstick.
What Kids Buy and
Why is the result of Acuff and Reiher's almost twenty years of consulting
with high-profile clients including Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Microsoft,
Nestle, Tyco, Disney, Pepsi, Warner Brothers, LucasFilm, Amblin/Spielberg,
Mattel, Hasbro, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Quaker Oats, General Mills, Broderbund,
Bandai, Sega, ABC, CBS, I-HOP, Domino's, Hardee's, and Kellogg's.
- An innovative matrix for speedy,
accurate product analysis and program development
A clear, step-by-step
process for making decisions that increase your product's appeal to
techniques for creating characters that kids love
Dan S. Acuff, Ph.D.,
is President of Youth Market System Consulting and, along with Dr. Robert
H. Reiher, is among the world's leading specialists on youth-related products
and programs. He has served as a consultant to more than fifty major kid-targeting
corporations. Dr. Acuff lives and works in Glendale, California.
Robert H. Reiher,
Ph.D., serves as Vice President and Director of Research for YMS. Dr.
Reiher is also President and founder of Innertainment, a company committed
to the creation and marketing of products and programs that have positive
impact on today's youth. Dr. Reiher is based in La Canada, California.
f rom the book...
1989 the birth rate of children in the United States alone has jumped from
approximately 3.5 million a year to over 4 million, maintaining a "baby-boom,"
pace into the mid 1990's. This, along with a variety of socio-cultural changes,
translates to direct-purchase and purchase-influence "kid power"
that exceeds $200 billion a year.
This kid-buying power is increasing. With societal changes such as those
brought on by the substantial shift from mothers working at home to mothers
working outside the home, and the increase in single-parent families, children
have had to take on more responsibility. This includes much more direct-purchasing
activity for themselves and their families as well as substantially more
influence when it comes to which restaurants and fast-food outlets to frequent,
which pizza to order, which groceries and home necessities to buy, which
computer systems, which brands of clothing even which type of automobile
to buy for the family.
Kids have never before wielded the purchase power that they wield today.
Dr. James McNeal, in his book Kids as Customers, has even coined the term
filiarchy to describe the burgeoning potency of today's young people in
With so much direct purchase power at stake it is critical to understand
just who these kids are. In recent years a variety of entities have entered
the scene with the intent of educating corporate America and other interested
individuals about "kids" -- about what's motivating them, their
preferences, their differences by gender and age, the latest kid and youth
trends. Whereas a few years ago there were no conferences on product development
on marketing to kids, now there are a variety of these conferences each
year attended by hundreds and organized and presented by groups including
the International Quality and Productivity Center, the Institute for International
Research, and the Marketing to Kids Report. There are also two periodicals
which cover kids as consumers and effective approaches to marketing to them:
the Marketing to Kids Report just cited, and Selling to Kids.
People targeting kids are thirsty for more knowledge about today's young
people. What are the success stories in marketing to kids and their parents?
Why have many kid-targeted products and programs failed? Most important,
what are the inner workings of today's kids as to their preferences, their
tastes, their purchasing behavior? Essential insights into these inner workings
-- the psychological underpinnings of kids and their motivations, interests,
and behavior -- form the central focus of this book.
WKB is a guide to the successful creation, development, and marketing of
products and programs targeted to today's youth ages birth through the teen
years. "Products" include virtually anything targeted for sale
to kids, such as toys, games, sporting goods, foods, software, publications,
clothing, and such personal hygiene items as shampoo or toothpaste. "Programs"
include such entertainment programming as feature films, TV animation, and
electronic games, and such "edutainment" as educational software.
In Chapter l, we look at what it takes to be a winner among the proliferation
of products and programs aimed at today's youth.
Chapter 2 raises the issue of "kid empowerment." Beyond what "wins"
at the cash registers or the box office, which products and programs contribute
to the positive growth and development of children, and which may actually
result in a negative impact? It's very important to get our priorities straight
in terms of what's good and bad for kids as we develop and launch kid-targeted
products and programs. While this book will facilitate the successful creation,
development, and marketing of any product or program targeted to kids, our
goal is to encourage and promote the development of products and programs
that empower -- that is, those that advance the positive development and
growth of children and young people.
Chapter 3 presents a step-by-step guide to the successful development of
kid-targeted products and programs. One by one, the important considerations
and steps necessary in order to maximize one's chances for success are detailed.
Special attention throughout WKB is paid to age segmentation and targeting.
The key differences, for example, between 3-through-7-year-olds and 8-through-12-year-olds
and other "age segments" will be explored thoroughly in Chapters
4 through 8. What are the differences in children's neurological or brain
development? What is going on with each age child socially? Emotionally?
Morally? How do they perceive verbal and visual information at different
ages and stages of development? What types of humor appeal to young people
at what ages? How must gender differences be taken into account along the
product and program-development path, as children move through these developmental
stages? What are the key implications of all this information for successful
product and program development and marketing?
In Chapter 9, entitled "Barbie Meets Godzilla," gender differences
are presented in detail along with numerous examples. In Chapter 10, "Kids
and Characters," the appeal of and effective use of cartoon-like characters
and sports and entertainment personalities is examined. In Chapter 11 the
arena of kid marketing is explored, including insights into effective youth-targeted
naming, packaging, promotions, and advertising. Finally, Chapter 12 sums
up what we have learned.
WKB is intended for a wide range of readers. Whether you are charged with
new product or program creation, development, or marketing in the corporate
world in America or abroad; whether you are an independent developer, an
educator, or a parent, access to the information and insights provided in
WKB will greatly assist you. Statistics show that in most product and program
categories as many as 80 percent of new ideas outright fail, or at best
fall short of meeting company expectations in the kids marketplace. While
there is no insurance policy that will magically guarantee your success,
what will make the difference in turning this statistic in your favor is
an in-depth working knowledge of and insight into the inner life of the
child as the consumer and user of your products and programs.
Table Of Contents
Chapter 1: A Winning Formula
Chapter 2: Kid Empowerment
Chapter 3: The YMS Guide
to Successful Product and Program Development
Chapter 4: Birth Through
Age 2: The Dependency/Exploratory Stage
Chapter 5: Ages 3 Through
7: The Emerging-Autonomy Stage
Chapter 6: Ages 8 Through
12: The Rule/Role Stage
Chapter 7: Ages 13 Through
15: Early Adolescence
Chapter 8: Ages 16 Through
19: Late Adolescence
Chapter 9: Gender Differences:
Barbie Meets Godzilla
Chapter 10: Kids and Characters
Chapter 11: Successful Marketing
Chapter 12: In Conclusion
Notes / Index
For What Kids Buy And Why
"With more and
more marketers charging into the youth market, it's more critical than ever
that we have a thorough understanding of today's young consumers. The Youth
Market Systems approach is unparalleled in providing today's marketers with
that very important understanding. What Kids Buy and Why is a must read
for anyone committed to playing in the youth marketplace and dedicated to
being successful in it."
-- Paul Kurnit, President, Griffin-Bacal
"What Drs. Acuff
and Reiher have accomplished is unprecedented. They've taken proven principles
of child development and turned them into an innovative, breakthrough approach
to the creation of winning products and programs for kids. What Kids Buy
and Why is a foundational work for all kid-targeting industries."
-- Candi Schwartz, Kid Power Conference Director, Marketing Advisory
What Kids Buy And Why: The Psychology of Marketing To Kids
Our price: $21.95