A Tale of Two Market Segments: Tweens and Faith Driven Consumers

AUTHOR:

Chris Stone


Faith Driven Consumer market segment spends almost nine times more than the current darling of the marketplace: Tweens

They are connected to social media, like to drink frappucinos and have advertisers tripping over themselves to grab their attention – and they haven’t even graduated middle school yet.  Known as  Tweens, they are the latest market segment capturing the attention of brands across America.

While some may be surprised that retailers are targeting boys and girls aged 8 to 12, a recent article states that Tweens spend $30 billion of their own money annually and influence $150 billion of their parents’ money.

Another report has those figures even higher—$51 billion of their own money and $170 billion of their parents’.  With that level  of buying power, brands are shelling out an estimated $17 billion in advertising a year to reach the Tween segment.

Despite this marketing focus, reaching Tweens is proving to be a challenge for retailers.  Tweens tend to be overloaded with information and spend large amounts of time perusing digital media – including popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.  They are more comfortable with technology than most of their parents and are increasingly knowledgeable about the products they approve of and buy.

Here, Tweens are especially savvy when it comes to ad messages and are causing companies to change their marketing strategies. Today, brands must engage this young audience in new and relational ways that give Tweens the personal experience they require to make purchasing decisions.

Indeed, retail stores are now tailoring their surroundings to connect with Tweens while technology and food brands scramble to adapt services and products to their needs.  Yet because of their connectedness to one another as peers, Tweens are not easily manipulated.

With so much brand attention focused on this small – albeit growing – segment of consumers, it begs the question as to why retailers continue to pay scant attention to an even larger, more reachable and better understood market niche – Faith Driven Consumers?

We know that Faith Driven Consumers spend $2 trillion annually – almost nine times more than Tweens are estimated to account for.  They can become highly motivated to action, are actively seeking brands that respect their worldview and represent 17 percent of U.S. adults – roughly the same size as the U.S. Hispanic population.  Yet, there are few companies actively engaging this audience.  Why?

Perhaps some brands fear that pursuing Faith Driven Consumers will alienate other targeted market segments. However, data show that 97 percent of Americans either support or are indifferent to companies that manage their businesses on Christian principles and/or embrace or promote the Christian faith.

Thus, the equation is not “either/or” but “both/and” when it comes to including Faith Driven Consumers into the fabric of diversity embraced by many brands. Faith Driven Consumers are not looking for political statements; rather, they simply seek to integrate with brands that understand them and respect their worldview.

If retailers are willing to devote $17 billion to pursue a small and relatively elusive group like Tweens, why not spend at least as much toward capturing the attention of the Faith Driven Consumer who account for 41 million Americans – or one out of every six U.S. adults and spend 2 trillion dollars?


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