Move Over Millennials: Igniters are taking over and they’ve got buying power, tech smarts and swag

For the past few years everyone’s been talking about millennials. Especially millennials.

But, if you look at progressive companies like Under Armour and their new marketing strategy, it is aimed at a much younger market. It’s the market that I refer to as Igniters that is taking the lead.

They were born with tech in hand – and, as a result, are easily accessible.

Under Armour is a primary brand in this 7- to 13-year-old market and I don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon. If you have a product for adults, you may want to consider adapting it to a younger audience.

We have taken this innovative awareness to heart in the publishing industry – taking books meant for adults and repackaging them for the Igniter generation. You may be reading the bestseller Heaven is for Real, or The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People – while your 9-year-old reads the kid version targeted for him.

Kids under 19 make up 25.9% of the population and account for approximately $44 billion of disposable income a year.

Companies like Apple feature kids in their commercials, sell songs and movies for kids on iTunes, and promote books and apps kids can buy. Just about every kind of comic book character, superhero case, or Hello Kitty pink phone cover can be purchased for the iPhone. Another example of the crossover with companies that recognize the buying power of this vital market is GoPro, which isn’t just for adults anymore, as kids across America strap them onto bikes, remote cars and skateboards.

If millennials have an unfair reputation of being lazy, Igniters are the opposite – restless, passionate young kids that want to be the next Steve Jobs. They were born with an iPhone in their crib. If they didn’t have one in their crib their parents gave them one by the time they were 6. They were raised with an iPad instead of the computer.

I found this to be true in my own home when my 12-year-old decided to start a business that mimicked one of our companies. We have the brick and mortar company but he decided to start an online magazine.

I own the magazine,” he said. “By tomorrow I’ll have an Instagram page, a WordPress blog, and Facebook.”

But, it’s not your business,” I said, “it’s your father’s.”

No, I’m building the online magazine. I’m going to charge money for ads.

Profitable, from the start. It has been on our business plan list for the past five years.

What’s an Igniter? It’s the single fastest growing market of kids that companies sell to.

In the past, buying power started at 20. Today, kids are making the purchases on Amazon, ordering Uber, and getting pizza delivered at the click of a button and that’s all because of one thing: accessibility.

Did you know?…

  • 38% of children under 2 used a mobile device for media, like playing games or watching videos.
  • 60% of families who have provided a cellphone to their child did so between the ages of 10 and 11.
  • 20% provided their 8- to 9-year-old children with a cellphones.
  • 55% of parents with a tablet use it to entertain their children under 12 years old while traveling. 41 percent used a tablet to entertain their children at restaurants.
  • 88% of teenagers, ages 13 to 17 have or have access to a cellphone.
  • 91% of teenagers, ages 13 to 17, access the internet on cell phones, tablets and other mobile devices.
  • 89% of teens use social media.

Igniters are mostly marketed to with TV ads, but their lifestyle has changed in the last few years and marketing strategy should reflect that. Of the six and a half hours a day kids spend in front of screens, only a small part is spent watching TV.

Kids nowadays, however, use more devices and social platforms to learn about products, look for companies on social media and make purchases. Some companies have successfully leveraged Igniters’ access to mobile devices and the Internet to increase brand awareness.

The Coca-Cola Company uses social media, mobile apps, and radio ads to promote its products. The company has evidently discovered a winning strategy, since it reports better brand recognition among children under 12 than any other brand.

Igniters are tech savvy, ambitious and informed buyers. They make up a quarter of the U.S. population and are poised to become the largest consumer market. Connecting with and successfully marketing to Igniters will keep companies ahead of the curve.


Tammy Kling is a best-selling author, TED Speaker, CEO of OnFire Books, and Ghostwriter of 251 books and counting, including: The Compass, Freedom, andThere’s More to Life than the Corner Office. Tammy’s latest book, WORDS is being used by the Ritz Carlton in their leadership training. 

For more from Tammy Kling, please visit and follow her on Twitter: @tammykling for the latest. 


New York Times Best Selling Author