Tweens as super consumers: ‘Tweens’ influence on their parents and the family’s decision-making

Tine Steen Mortensen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to explore the consumer group tweens, children aged 8-12, in relation to their influence on their parents and the family’s decision-making. The choice of this new target group is due to tweens’ strong spending power and their significant influence on own purchases and family purchases made by the parents. The point of departure in this thesis is to create a picture of an international tween based on current theoretical research, which is the focus of research question 1. Research question 2 will give a nuanced picture of a Danish tween derived from existing research and newfound empirical findings, collected mainly from semi-structured interviews. Furthermore, based on the knowledge from research question 1 and 2, advise to marketers concerning their marketing to tweens will be given. This is important in relation to tweens increasingly influence on family decisions in today’s society which only increases with the tweens’ age. Tweens have a high degree of spending power through own money but existing research also shows that tweens have significant influence on everything from supermarket purchases to the family’s car as well as indirect influence on family purchase. Parents today listen to their tweens and involve them in decisions, as parents want to be in dialogue with their children. In addition, tweens are influenced by both their peers and technology when engaged in a consumer situation - both very important elements in a tweens’ life today. Society pushes children through childhood at a much earlier age than prior generations, making tweens act as little adults with an opinion about everything. A tendency, which is due to technology change and great change in today’s family structure. Especially the increase in adults’ income, adults having fewer children and the increase in divorce rate have an impact on children’s disposable income and their influence in the modern family. Findings show that Danish tweens also have great influence on family decision-making, but especially concerning inexpensive purchases. Additionally, it is evident that older tweens are stronger consumers than younger tweens as they are more brand-aware and have further opinions about purchases made in the family. Hence, marketers need to open up to more unconventional marketing methods when communicating to tweens as they are very capable consumers and see through marketers’ intent. A suggestion is double marketing aimed at parents and tweens, proactive methods in car dealerships or on social media sites, popular among tweens, and mobile marketing.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2010
Number of pages108