Close Up: Teen Sensations

Entrepreneurs are getting younger every year.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the November 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine. Subscribe »

Names: Elise and Evan Macmillan, co-founders of The Chocolate Farm, a Denver-based producer of such farm-inspired treats as Pigs in Mud and Lemon Sheep Munch

Top Five Magazines For Teens
3.Teen People
Source: Folio

Ages: 12 and 15

There's no denying the teen market is hot. Remember the McDonald's commercials from the summer of Britney Spears and *NSYNC? But when it comes to reaching teenagers, businesses can be pretty clueless (how many more ads do we need to see with kids being "real"?). These teen entrepreneurs provide insight into Generation Next:

Know Why They Buy: "Teens buy things for the same reasons as anyone else-we need the items. Sometimes we might want something more than we really need it, to make ourselves or other people happy," says Evan.

Lead Or Follow: "Many teens look for situations [in movies or on television] in which they'd like to see themselves. They may choose to copy clothes, language or other aspects of these situations," says Evan. "Other times they like to create their own look. Teens today are not like a flock of sheep. They're very media savvy."

Set A Good Example: Elise believes alcohol and tobacco ads unfairly target teens: "I think these ads try to convince teenagers they can be more grown-up and have more fun if they use cigarettes and alcohol."

Laugh A Little: "I like ads that are funny so I remember them and maybe I'll talk about them with my friends," Elise says. "Ads with actors who portray unusual people can be funny and memorable."

The U.S. Census counts nearly 16 million people in the United States between the ages of 14 and 17. That number has risen from just under 15 million in 1995.

Every year, more than $2 billion is spent on advertising directed at kids, more than 20 times what advertisers spent 10 years ago.

Kids 12 to 19 spent about $94 billion of their own money in 1998, according to the Rand Youth Poll. What have these young entrepreneurs purchased recently? Elise bought running shoes for track, some school clothes

Do you recognize an entrepreneurial sparkle in your own kids? Show them how to take their lemonade stand ambitions to the next level with How to Be a Teenage Millionaire (Entrepreneur Press) by Art Beroff and T.R. Adams.

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