Friday, November 7, 2008

Corporate mistakes marketing to the tween market

You wonder why Detroit is failing? Ford Motor Company was offered an idea to develop a limited edition Hannah Montana Mustang and place the song “Mustang Miley,” sung to Mustang Sally, in the new Hannah Montana movie. They passed on the idea.

Fender Musical Instruments is sticking with baby-boomer artists like David Gilmour, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton. They were offered an idea for a Century guitar line commemorating founder Leo Fender’s hundredth birthday in 2009. Ads for the Century line included Zack and Cody of the Suite Life and Aly and AJ.

Aly and AJ (greatest music stars of the 21st Century) play Fender guitars and Orange amps. Why aren’t these instrument lines, or other companies, smart enough to promote these very talented sisters? Because corporations don’t want innovative thinking. Their creative thinking is to layoff employees rather than develop new business models.

The kings of tweens music, Hollywood Music, refused to issue a good version of “Rock and Roll All Night,” featuring Hannah and the Dynamic Duo (Aly and AJ). So we have to suffer with crappy sounding YouTube recordings.

The champion of all clueless tween marketers is a mall in northeast Phoenix. Two years ago they started a policy of kicking tweens out of the mall on Friday and Saturday nights. This mall is adjacent to possibly the busiest freeway in Arizona.

The mall could have put up a section where tweens would converge every Friday and Saturday evenings, meet their friends, listen to either DJs or tween bands playing tween music. It would have been a boon for stores in the mall. Stores could have given free samples, coupons for tween discounts in their stores. The crowd next to a freeway would have attracted more shoppers.

What was the economic outcome of this mall’s attitude towards tweens and banishing them? Twenty percent of the stores in this mall have shuttered since the “16 after 6” policy was initiated.

Top level management at the company refused to meet with a tween marketing expert. So, if you’re going to northeast Phoenix and this mall, make sure to NOT spend any money there. Don’t even go to the movie or buy a smoothie. Let them learn the economic power of tweens. Same with Ford Motor Company (only an idiot would buy a Found On the Road Dead or Fix Or Repair Daily) and Fender.