Magazine Article


Behind Every Soccer Mom, There's A Kid Waiting to Get Out and Buy Stuff

Behind Every "Soccer Mom," There's A "Soccer Kid"
Waiting to Get Out & Buy Stuff

Quite frankly, we're getting a little tired of all the talk these days about the "Soccer Mom" and her importance to the imaging industry. Sure, there's no denying she's a key demographic—she controls much of the household spending, makes most of the purchases and takes the majority of the pictures. We understand that and, as a matter of fact, featured an in-depth article on the subject in our February issue. (See "The Imaging Industry's Femme Fatale," PTN February 2002). What we can't figure out is how the little guy or girl standing at the soccer mom's feet gets consistently overlooked.
That's right, with all this talk about the soccer mom, it's sometimes easy to miss the soccer kid standing behind her, playing with the latest digital gizmo or begging mom to buy him the cool camera he saw on TV. In this issue of PTN, our intrepid reporter Theano Nikitas takes a look at the youth market and the huge opportunity it presents to photo specialty retailers. As Theano notes in her story ("Kiddie Cams," page 16), recent studies show that kids as young as 18 months old already recognize corporate labels. Even more astounding, studies indicate that by the time they reach the first grade, kids already know about 200 logos. Factor in the enormous spending power the youth market wields—including recent estimates that show U.S. teens dropped approximately $172 billion in 2001 which is up from $155 billion in 2000—and you've got a very powerful consumer force, a niche that photo specialty would do well not to overlook.
In this issue, we also look at the hottest and hippest imaging products on the market—vibrantly colored digital cameras, digital cameras that can be worn around the neck, a photo phaser that "shoots" digital images, a pocket sized printer and much, much more. These products aren't designed just to be fun—though they are a lot of fun—they're also the perfect "gateway" products to get kids interested in photography at an early age. While it's great to make a one-time sale, everybody knows it's far better to make a sale and keep them coming back for more. As Theano points out in her story: "Let's not forget that today's kids are the consumers of tomorrow. Get them used to coming to you for all their photographic needs and you're likely to build a loyal customer." And loyal customers, by their very nature, are the ones who keep coming back for more.

Dan Havlik