Magazine article Independent Banker

Loans and Lollipops

Magazine article Independent Banker

Loans and Lollipops

Article excerpt

Family friendly marketing grows as children and stressed parents multiply

Family friendly marketing grows as children and stressed parents multiply.

The concept of family marketing is making its way into mainstream business, thanks to large fast-food chains like McDonald's and Burger King. From food selection, play areas, toy giveaways and child friendly furniture, they have drawn and kept families coming through their doors for three generations.

So what does selling hamburgers have to do with banking? Children are wielding influence throughout the marketplace like never before. Since 1990, birth rates have been increasing. By 2006, children under 5 will represent 7 percent of the country's total population. Add in the 14.5 percent of those represented by 5-14 year olds and you have a significant demographic phenomenon.

Meanwhile, although the U.S. population continues to grow, it has become increasingly diverse, and the "typical" American family barely exists anymore. Every day 13 million children spend time in child care, and two thirds of mothers of young children work outside the home. One in every two children will live in a single-parent family at some point in their childhood.

In short, there are more children, more parents working and more people raising children alone. As a result, millions of parents are conducting business with youngsters in tow. Of course, this trend ultimately influences customer-buying behaviors. Family marketing employs strategies and practices that strongly appeal to parents and their children for the ultimate purpose of increasing sales.

Family marketing has three components: products, customer service and environment.

Synchronizing these elements yields the greatest returns. Products such as children's saving accounts, student money management seminars, price-competitive mortgages and college saving programs that teach teens to save and invest are staples. …

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