Children: The Final Frontier .. . For Cell Phones

3293 words - 14 pages

Table of Contents

Title Page ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……………..... 1
Table of Contents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 2
Case Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………... 3
Family Life Cycle ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….… 3
Figure 1: Consumer Development ……………………………………………………………………………………….… 4
Decision Dynamics …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..... 4
Children’s Perspective ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..... 5
Cell Phone Companies’ Perspective ………………………………………………………………………….……………..………... 6
Figure 2: Two Examples of Cell Phones Designed for Kids...….……………………………………..………... 6
Child ...view middle of the document...

Family Life Cycle
Marketers study the family life cycle to better predict the demand of the present and future consumers. Learning the changes in the preferences and needs of the whole family that take place due to the current trends helps marketers make more accurate assumptions in regard to the future market demand of smartphones. For example, in order for smartphone marketing to influence the young customers and be involved in their lifestyle, marketers must understand the family life cycle, and changes the family household go through regarding income, number of children, the age of children, lifestyle changes like the way they communicate, and other changes and trends, and make more accurate assumptions regarding the changes of their needs and expenditures.
Children go through five stages of consumer development. Consumer development is the process in which young individuals learn the attitudes and behavior patterns appropriate to their social roles. (Foxell, 2008). During the first stage, the infant is an observer to his parents’ actions. In the second stage, at the age of two on average, children request the products they want through pointing and gesturing. During the third stage and by the age of 4, they start making selections of what they want. This occurs when the child is able to locate and retrieve products. During the fourth stage, when children are about the age of 6, they usually start making purchase selections with the help of their parents. And finally by the age of eight, during the fifth stage, Children are able to make independent purchases. (Solomon, 2011) Figure 1 illustrates in a chart the five stages of consumer development, and the earliest and average age for each stage.

Decision Dynamics
Many factors influence the parents’ decision to buy their child a smartphone. Parents have a role to determine whether to buy the smartphone or not, which product and brand of choice they will decide to buy, from where to buy it, and when to buy it. Two types of decision might be involved in the process of decision making to buy a child a smartphone
Consensual Purchase decision: when all members of the family agree on the desired product (smartphone) to purchase, but they disagree on the terms of how they will achieve it. This kind of conflict would happen if the family disagree on the proper age for the child to carry a cell phone or a smartphone.
Accommodative Purchase decision: With this type, family members might have more conflict and disagreements than with the consensual purchase decision. The accommodate purchase decision occurs when family members disagree on the smartphone preference, needs, and expectations involved. Family members try to reach an agreement by compromising, bargaining or coercing. Parents can set rules for the child to earn the smartphone. For instance, if the child gets good grades then he gets to keep his/her cell phone. There are other factors play a role in the decision making of buying a...

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