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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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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Abbreviations
      • Executive Summary

          • The strength of pester power
            • Figure 1: Items kids and teens asked their parents for when shopping together in the last month, March 2015
          • Children’s opinions matter in modern families
            • Figure 2: How often parents ask for their children’s opinion when making purchases, March 2015
          • Parents’ advice carries the most weight
            • Figure 3: People that children and teens are influenced by when choosing new items, March 2015
          • Searching for novelty
            • Figure 4: Attitudes of children and teens – Friendships and new products, March 2015
          • What we think
          • Issues and Insights

              • Assessing the strength of children’s pester power
                • The facts
                  • The implications
                    • Children’s influence over purchases for the household
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                          • Influence of advertising on children
                            • The facts
                              • The implications
                              • Market Drivers

                                • Key points
                                  • Trends in the age structure of the UK population
                                    • Figure 5: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2009-19
                                  • Trends in family types
                                    • Figure 6: People in households, by type of household and family, UK, 2009-14
                                  • Number of siblings
                                    • Figure 7: Number of siblings, March 2015
                                  • Childhood obesity
                                    • Figure 8: Children’s overweight and obesity prevalence, by age, England, 2013
                                    • Figure 9: le FabShop – “Open Toys” project, April 2015
                                  • Trends in children’s physical activity
                                    • Figure 10: Proportion of children meeting recommendations for physical activity, by age and gender, England, 2008 and 2012
                                  • Devices children miss the most
                                    • Figure 11: Device children would miss the most, by age, April-June 2014
                                  • Usage of technology devices at home
                                    • Figure 12: Technology devices kids and teens use at home, 2013 and 2015
                                  • Social media use
                                    • Figure 13: Social media and apps used by kids and teens in the past month, March 2015
                                • The Consumer – Pester Power – The Parents’ Perspective

                                  • Key points
                                    • Nearly nine in 10 kids and teens ask their parents to buy them something when shopping together
                                      • Figure 14: Items kids and teens asked their parents for when shopping together in the last month, March 2015
                                    • The strength of children’s pester power
                                      • Figure 15: Proportion of parents who bought items their child asked for in the last month, March 2015
                                    • Children’s influence rises with age
                                      • Figure 16: Proportion of parents who bought items their child asked for in the last month, by children’s age, March 2015
                                    • Effect of pester power on parental spending
                                      • Figure 17: Amount of money parents spent on items children asked for in the last month (mean amounts per item), March 2015
                                    • Dads and higher-earning parents spend more on their offspring
                                      • Figure 18: Amount of money parents spent on selected items children asked for in the last month (mean amounts per item), by gender of parent and annual household income, March 2015
                                  • The Consumer – Children’s Influence on Family Purchases and Activities

                                    • Key points
                                      • Children’s voices are strong in modern families
                                        • Figure 19: How often parents ask for their children’s opinion when making purchases, March 2015
                                      • Influence over family purchases rises with age
                                        • Figure 20: Proportion of parents who ask for their children’s opinion most of the time or sometimes when making selected purchases, by children’s age and gender, March 2015
                                      • Factoring kids’ opinions into family leisure time
                                        • Figure 21: How often parents ask for their children’s opinion when planning family activities, March 2015
                                    • The Consumer – Parenting Strategies

                                      • Key points
                                        • Parents see themselves as disciplinarians
                                          • Figure 22: Parents’ attitudes, March 2015
                                        • Higher-income parents take a more relaxed approach to spending on their children
                                          • Figure 23: Selected parents’ attitudes, by annual household income, March 2015
                                        • Parents spend more freely on only children
                                          • Figure 24: Selected parents’ attitudes, by presence of siblings, March 2015
                                        • CHAID analysis
                                          • Methodology
                                            • Figure 25: Children and teens as influencers – CHAID – Tree output, March 2015
                                            • Figure 26: Children and teens as influencers – CHAID – Tree output, March 2015
                                          • Rising brand awareness – A part of growing up
                                            • Figure 27: Selected parents’ attitudes, by children’s age, March 2015
                                        • The Consumer – Who Kids are Influenced By

                                          • Key points
                                            • Opinions of mum and dad carry the most weight
                                              • Figure 28: People that children and teens are influenced by when choosing new items, March 2015
                                            • Parental influence wanes with children’s age
                                              • Figure 29: People that children and teens are influenced by when choosing new items (Nets across all categories are shown), by children’s age, March 2015
                                            • Parental anxieties over age-inappropriate content
                                              • Figure 30: People that children and teens are influenced by when deciding what to do in their leisure time, March 2015
                                          • The Consumer – The Power of Advertising

                                            • Key points
                                              • Advertising to children – A tricky task
                                                  • Figure 31: Subway’s ‘Playtime: Powered by Veggies’ campaign, April 2015
                                                • Children are a captive audience for TV
                                                  • Figure 32: Places where kids and teens recall seeing advertising, March 2015
                                                • Internet – Threat or opportunity?
                                                  • Figure 33: Places where kids and teens recall seeing advertising, by children’s age, March 2015
                                              • The Consumer – Kids’ and Teens’ Attitudes

                                                • Key points
                                                  • Modern British families are very close
                                                    • Figure 34: Attitudes of children and teens – Relationship with parents, March 2015
                                                  • In search of novelty
                                                    • Figure 35: Attitudes of children and teens – Friendships and new products, March 2015

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                                                Children and Teens as Influencers - UK - May 2015

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