In fact, it could be argued that they spend more than 100% of their money. Because in addition to the income they might generate through a job or allowance, they often spend at least some of their parents’ money, too. Teenagers are not a wise market to overlook, because the money they have access to could be described as almost entirely discretionary.
(Caveats and counter-trends: Many teens are responsible for maintaining their own smartphone contract and paying for their monthly gaming expenses. Some buy their own clothes, and some even have a car payment. And post-recession, more teens are helping out with general household expenses when a family has been impacted by job loss.)
Marketing Implications: If you’re not convinced just how big the potential is in marketing to pre-adults, just ask some people who sell X-Box or PlayStations, Droids or iPhones, or Abercrombie & Fitch. In addition to being ravenous about their consumption of entertainment and fun (in-theater movies, theme parks, parties, etc.), they are playing an ever-growing role in procuring goods for the household; grocery and other shopping needs are often delegated to the youth of a household, especially when there is more than one head-of-household that is employed outside the home.
And by the way, the older-end of this spectrum is also behind the wheel.
Which of your products and services fit into the pre-adult life stage? Have you found the best ways to connect with these consumers? (Beyond traditional media, they are fanatics about social networking and micro-blogging; but getting into their group is not always easy and requires both finesse and authenticity.) And when you think about the life-value potential of gaining customers in their youth… the payoff can be remarkable.