The Kids in shopping mall- how to target them?

If we tend to focus on the Kid’s market in India, there are certain interesting things that come out:
 
1. It is the largest Kids market anywhere in the world greater than even the US
2. The net valuation of the kids market is expected to be over INR 25000 crores
3. The kids market in India has an expected growth rate of 25% per annum
4. The branded kids wear market in India is worth over 850 million USD
5. 65% of the INR 990 crore toothpaste market in India is believed to be for kids.
6. The toy market in India is worth over 3000 crore, 90% of which belongs to the unorganized sector.
 
These facts when taken together point out a market segment that is booming and offers tremendous potential for organised players in times to come. What exactly is a mall ? A shopping place ! But perhaps the definition needs a bit of change- It is also a place where people love to spend their leisure time. A very viable way of increasing footfalls in organised retail is to incorporate plans in the retail strategy to target kids- since when kids come to malls, they bring their parents along with them and not necessarily the other way around. Now let us consider the few segments within the kids market according to age:
1. 0-4 yrs- This segment is largely dependent on their parents and need not be separately marketed to.
2. 4-8 yrs- This segment is mostly influenced by their parents choices and advertisements or products with animated cartoon characters
3. 8-14 yrs- This group is largely influenced by peer group and unlike its other two contemporaries is fascinated more by reality shows,movies and television serials
4. 14-16 yrs- This group shows similar characteristics to adult in terms of choice and is the ideal market that Consumer goods like Mobile phone manufacturers should target to build loyalty over a long run.
 
Now the question is how to target this lucrative kids market in your shopping mall? Let us have a look at some of the suggestions in which this can be achieved:
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1. Cartoons and Animations- Of course some of the readers might feel that books are a far greater attention, but according to a survey conducted in 2010 by Cartoon Network India, less than 13% of urban kids love reading books
2. Having an exclusive Kids Zone- Having an exclusive kids zone is one of the best ways to increase footfalls as parents do prefer to have their kids taken care of while they are busy shopping. If you have an exclusive kids zone in your mall, chances are high that you will be preferred.
3. Video Games– Having a video game store/parlor is another great way to attract kids.
4. Having animated movie shows in multiplexes- This not only attracts the kids but also brings the parent footfalls. This is perhaps the single most reason why the kids market movie segment is attracting lot of investment off late with at least couple of new animated movies being produced in India each month 
5. Celebrity endorsements– It is another great way to attract the eye balls of the urban Indian kid and in fact in some cases they are more aware than even their parents.
 
Any organised player should look at targetting this segment and build its brand loyalty over a period of time since they represent the market of the future. But a bigger question still looms large: Is it ethical to market to kids considering their decisions are driven more by show than judgement?
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The Kids in shopping mall- how to target them?

by Abhirup Bhattacharya time to read: 3 min
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