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Opinion: A view from Europe: Diverse German market presenting a challenge

In 1996, the disposable income of more than nine million German children age six to 15 was worth approximately DM17.3 billion (US$9.9 billion). In addition, these kids exerted an influence on purchases made by other family members, to the tune of...
December 1, 1997

In 1996, the disposable income of more than nine million German children age six to 15 was worth approximately DM17.3 billion (US$9.9 billion). In addition, these kids exerted an influence on purchases made by other family members, to the tune of DM35 billion (US$20.2 billion). Given this overall purchasing power of over DM52 billion (US$30 billion), it’s no wonder that marketing experts are under pressure to target this group in new and innovative ways.

Though this group has tremendous spending power, licensors and marketers are competing with a multitude of distractions-some old and some new, such as the Internet, in-line skating, snowboarding, innovative music groups and creative DJs.

On the one hand, this diversity presents innumerable merchandising possibilities. On the other, this diversity is making it increasingly difficult to create the awareness necessary to develop a full licensing and merchandising campaign.

Licensors and retailers should be aware of this when acquiring a license. Creativity and strong promotional efforts are necessary in order to build a strong license with growth potential. By bringing partners together to set up a comprehensive marketing strategy and using these connections to develop cross-promotional activities, it is possible to succeed in this diverse market.

Florian Haffa is a member of the board of EM.TV & Merchandising AG (formerly EM-Entertainment), a Munich-based diversified communications company.

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