Children and Teens as Influencers - UK - May 2015
“Today’s kids and teens crave novelty like no generation before them, owing to the speed of innovation, early exposure to the internet and ubiquitous advertising. Impressionable and fickle, children could benefit from a more balanced perspective on how shopping decisions are made – something that will allow them to grow up into more discerning consumers.”
– Ina Mitskavets, Senior Consumer Lifestyles Analyst
This report looks at the following areas:
- Assessing the strength of children’s pester power
- Children’s influence over purchases for the household
- Influence of advertising on children
By their teenage years children show significant brand awareness; emotional connections they build with brands around this time will reinforce their consumer behaviours later in life. Not yet consumers in their own right, children nonetheless influence many spending decisions in their families. Modern parents consult their offspring on anything from new fashion items for themselves to food and drink for dinner, and children’s views can also have a big impact on bigger-ticket purchases, such as electronics and family holiday spots.
Just as their parents, today’s kids and teens are exposed to an ever-widening repertoire of products and options, owing to greater access to the internet, the speed of innovation and ubiquitous advertising. It is becoming harder for brands to differentiate themselves and form connections with potential future customers.
Early affinity to a brand could lead to a lifelong relationship, but brands need to satisfy parents’ requirements(eg safety of usage, content, health attributes) before they would be prepared to loosen their purse strings. As children grow up, their relationships with brands also grow. The best way to ensure an enduring, valued relationship is to keep the brand relevant to their changing needs and concerns.
The greater degree of inclusivity in modern British families is marked by the high proportion of children who view themselves as being very close to their mum and dad. Such closeness, however, also manifests itself as a greater degree of influence children and teens have over their families’ purchases and activities. Most children ask their mum and dad to buy them something when they shop together, and most parents oblige, despite the fact that they tend to view themselves as being fairly strict. Furthermore, parents consult their children on anything from new clothes, shoes and accessories for the child, to technology items for use by the entire family and even things to be used by parents themselves.
With lines between childhood and adulthood continuing to blur, mums and dads could be found watching the same TV shows, listening to the same music and even wearing the same brands of clothing as their kids. It is therefore easy to see how today’s children’s influence and preferences could infiltrate the rest of the family.
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