More Kids Stock Up on Consumer Electronics


Research giant NPD is out with their latest study on kids and consumer electronics and the results are eye opening to say the least. Households with children under the age of 14 are more likely to have a desktop computer than a television and their kids are more likely to personally own a video game system than a television. The study goes on to say twice as many kids owned personal music devices and digital cameras in 2005 and cell phone ownership among kids 4 to 14 has increased by 50% since last year. I would imagine these numbers will continue to rise with release of next generation gaming systems from Sony and Nintendo as well as new entry level-priced digital cameras (and the popularity of User Created Content with this demographic segment).

Beyond the numbers, there are some great insights in this study, as highlighted by NPD analyst and study author Anita Frazier.  The real significance of the study is its underlying message to marketers — not only electronics manufacturers, but those who sell any product that might be consumed by this digital generation.

Marketers "have to take into account this new digital reality of kids' lives and consider it in all product design and marketing plans.  From the kinds of products that appeal to kids to the way you talk to them on packages and in advertising — it has to be a consideration," Ms. Frazier said.

The other big insight from Frazier's study is that it is the parents who are supporting kids digital habits.   "I know a lot of kids who ask for iTunes gift cards for their birthdays or other occasions, so in some ways they're supporting their own downloading, but in some cases parents and families are sharing playlists.  I think adults are becoming so reliant on their own 'gadgets' that it's not uncomfortable for them to support their kids' habits."

The bottom line, according to Ms. Fraizer, is that "there is a big market among the youth set for [consumer electronic] products."  "Whether it's creating products specifically for that age group or simply modifying your marketing message, they are a ripe target."  CE retailers should take note.


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