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The youth market has an almost mystical allure, given their combined spending power of almost $40 billion. So, marketers try to accurately target their strategies to reach that market. But marketing to the youth market is fraught with myths. dispels some of these myths and reframes your efforts.

Myth 1: Mom's approval is the kiss of death
Parents and children have a lot in common and agree on a lot of things. And youths are motivated to get parental approval and respect their opinions. Parents should be seen as allies, as they carry weight with kids.

Myth 2: Healthy messages are key for today's kids, tweens, and teens
Youths need healthy solutions, not just messaging. Most companies haven't gone far enough. Some brands only endorse products that meet strict health criteria.

Myth 3: You're not connecting with today's youth if you're not social networking
While older teens are engaged with social media, younger kids tend to find it too socially complex. Online gaming may be a better way to reach them. Seek age-appropriate formats.

Myth 4: Boys will be boys, and girls will be both
The current generation of youths are more accepting, so gender concepts aren't as fixed. Girls still have a tougher time finding role models. Try playing with existing notions of masculinity and femininity.

Myth 5: Kids are getting older younger
Today's kids are definitely exposed to more media and ideas about the world. But that still retain an innocent mindset. Don't equate physical development with cognitive competence. Ground your strategies in ongoing research.

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Chandler Austin

Written by Chandler Austin