“She’s very into computer games,” said Ann Hoskins-Brown, about her daughter Sarah Charlotte, age 11. The Philadelphia mom is among a growing number of parents who are learning more about consumer technology...from their kids. “Generally, she points things out in a store,” Brown said. Today, Sarah Charlotte has her head buried in a pink Nintendo DS, playing a game called Club Penguin. “It’s a little nerve-wracking since it includes chatting, but I monitor it fairly closely and it seems pretty benign,” Brown said.
Sarah Charlotte’s a typical tween. Not only is she interested in more sophisticated entertainment devices than the generations before her, but she knows how to use a computer, search the Internet, and she thinks most music comes from a little thing called the iPod. Her mother says most of her peers are exactly the same when it comes to being tech savvy. “There’s definitely pressure from the other kids as to what’s hot,” Brown said. “Being on top of the latest electronics is a big part of that.”
According to “Tweens: A Force to be Reckoned With: Changing Consumption Habits of 8-12 Year Olds,” a report by market research firm Euromonitor International, tween spending worldwide is higher than ever, at an estimated $170 billion. Not only do tweens have more access to income but they also have greater influence on family purchasing decisions. For many CE dealers, treating tweens as high-priority customers could translate to lucrative business.