This essay looks into marketer’s interaction with youth and children. Due to enabling technology, government control over the interaction between marketers and the youth continues to wan while marketers, buoyed by technology, continue to increasingly access youths and children using cunning methods. This trend has to be checked and measures taken to ensure marketers are responsible despite their increased access to children or the youth
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Branding is a process of connecting and building a bond between products and its clients. A Brand basically refers to a name or image by which a given product is identified. Branding goes beyond mere name to determining how customers feel on remembering or encountering a given product or its brand. Brand aims at creating a psycho-social connection that makes customers attached to a given product (Hearn, 2008, 195). The climax or end of branding is establishing brand resonance i.e. an emotional attachment to a product in a customer. Once a customer has some emotional attachment to a brand, he or she remains loyal to the brand despite other alluring offers in the market.
Branding is highly dependent on market communication and brand experience. Market communication delivers a message that a given product can do given wonders in a given product. Brand experience aims at providing as much physical experience to the brand communication as possible. In designing brand experience, issues like brand contact points are well choreographed as to be responsive to client desires, preferences and needs. Advertisement plays a critical role in brand building. Through advertising, marketers are able to communicate and educate the public about a given product and its awesome properties.
Traditionally, governments controlled the advertisement industry efficiently and effectively. Due to technological changes this has become increasingly advances. Advertisers or marketers have taken advantage of technological innovations to create brand messages that appeal to the youths and kids in a way that can not be prosecuted because of the tactical overt ways they apply. Through the internet, especially social networks, the youth are directly targeted by marketers (Hearn, 2008, 205). The governments around the world are somehow defeated in controlling what goes on in such Medias as social networks.
Marketers know that children have substantial influence on what their parents buy. It is for this reason that marketers and brand managers look closely into how to appeal to children. Often, when kids are convinced about a given product, they pressurize their parents into acquiring the product. Many parents love their children and would do anything for them as long as it is does not pose a danger to their survival. Marketers have over time honed their skills in how to capitalize on profound parental love.
Spending on children related spending in America grew from on hundred million US dollars to over two billion US dollars between 1990 and 2000(Storey, 1999, p. 199). This is phenomenal growth that illustrates increased interest in children as a market segment. There are a number of factors that have led to more willingness by parents to spend on their children. First, most American couples have very few children. Secondly, most American couples have their children in late adulthood when they have managed to acquire some economic fortune. Finally, the two mentioned factors mean many couples enjoy better economic standing than if they married early and had many children. Therefore, parents have some extra coins which they are willing to use and spoil their children a little.
Another factor that makes marketers very successful at targeting children and youth is increased knowledge on child psychology and developmental psychology. With the understanding of what makes children and youth tick, marketers design their campaigns with precision. The aim is to appeal to specific psychosocial needs in the children or youth. Marketers, having understood the special psychosocial needs of children or youth and buoyed by the understanding that parents have some disposable income to spoil their children somehow, anchor on the pestering capability of children or nagging capacity of youth. In advertising a toy, for example, marketers will show successful parents making their children happy with just that particular toy. They then infuse messages either targeted at the parent or at the child. The message will be to the tune of when are your parents buying you one, or when are you buying your child one now that you really love him or her.
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It seems that marketers choose to intentionally start building brand loyalty from childhood. It is understood that if a child can be helped towards becoming attached to a product in childhood, this will continue into adulthood (Kenway & Bullen, p. 21). It is for this reason that marketers use every avenue to reach children and enable a brand experience. Even school that was traditionally a no go zone for advertisers, it is now the greatest marketing opportunity. Through freebies, sponsoring school events and buying educational materials for students, marketers gain access to students.
Conclusively, the increased access that marketers have to youths and children is a concern for the whole society. Marketers cunningly expose and manipulate children and youth often in very cunning ways (Kenway & Bullen, p. 30). For example, when a movie targets under ages, markets will sell it aggressively with restricted tags. Such tags only make children or youth curious. The curiosity drives them to search and find the loopholes intentionally left by marketers of accessing the products. This is ethically wrong, as adult marketers are taking advantage of youth’s and children’s vulnerability. Unless ways of curbing such trends are established, children are exposed to consumerist trends very early in life. As they grow up, dependency on consumption makes them slave or puppet like in the face marketers’ mechanisms.