What do Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swan all have in common?
They owe at least a large chunk of their fame and profits to tweens. A recent article from Investopedia said that all three of those franchises were initially successful in large due to tweens, but more specifically, tweens AND their parents.
Tweens get their spending money from their parents, and presumably, their parents wield some amount of control or at least influence over what the tweens use that money to buy. J.K. Rowling, Suzanne Collins and Stephenie Meyer all spun tales that mesmerized readers, regardless of age group. In doing so, they harnessed the economic power of multiple demographics. Their books and movies generated the profits to prove it.
While not all parents agree that all are tween appropriate, a decent number of parents were in line with their tweens for the first midnight showing of a movie in one of those series. (Lame one that I am, I'm still trying to figure out how they stay up so late.) The sales figures for all three series for the books and the movies were astounding.
Marketers are certainly taking notice of tweens, but what is even more interesting is that they are focusing on what tweens and their parents enjoy together. The article focused on the dollars that tweens spend on books and movies, but what I think it is every bit as important to note is that a good story can be shared across generations. Parents and tweens are both willing to pay for a vicarious adventure.
A tale that can capture attention and imagination within a family is exceptionally valuable, and that value goes far beyond economics. Story telling is timeless, ageless, and priceless. It's also very profitable.
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Which of those three series is your favorite? Which, if any, have you enjoyed with your kids?