Last month, Brand Republic and Harris Interactive published their Kids Brands Index 2011, showing the top household brands among 7-15 year old British children. Based on research with 4,000 kids, the index ranks the top brands in 12 categories, based on their levels of awareness, cool factor, recommendations and overall desirability, among others.
The index makes for essential reading for any marketer dealing with kids’ brands, but also for any business targeting a family audience. So read on to discover five points that struck us, here at The Value Engineers’ Kids practice:
- Of the Top 20 brands, only four actively position themselves as ‘kids’ or youth brands. Of those four, only one has made it into the Top 10 – Haribo, which comes in at #7. While the result might seem surprising to those unused to kids’ marketing, it reflects the diversity among different age groups. The one thing that unites kids aged 7-15 is that all aspire to being older. Looked at in this light, it’s no shock that the #1 brand is Walkers, followed closely by The Simpsons and McDonald’s. All are mainstream brands that pride themselves on an almost universal appeal.
- Six technology brands hit the Top 20, including websites, gaming consoles, mobile phones and A/V. This will come as no surprise to parents of tween- or teenagers, who are used to fending off requests for the latest new technology, but does go to prove the ubiquity of tech among this demographic. Having said that, Apple’s iPhone was the only mobile brand, reflecting kids’ technological aspirations rather than their everyday reality.
- Nintendo came out far ahead of its competitor console brands, with the Wii at #5 and the DS at #9. Compare this to its closest competitor – the Xbox Kinect at #45 – and it’s clear that Nintendo’s strategy of extending beyond the core gaming audience is still paying off.
- Just one retail brand and one ‘fashion’ brand (GAME and Nike respectively) managed to slip into the Top 20, despite the much-cited appeal of brands such as Jack Wills. It’s likely that this reflects the different maturity rates of boys and girls, with boys becoming interested in clothes and other forms of self-expression at a later age, but also the segmentation of the sexes – boys won’t identify with a so-called ‘girls’ brand.
- Finally, it’s interesting to note that the first ‘toy’ brand only enters the list at #18 with LEGO, showing how justified is the toys & games industries’ concern about children growing out of the market ever more quickly.
Full results are available courtesy of PR Week via the link above, and are well worth a look. In the meantime, I’m off to McDonald’s for some first-hand observation…