Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brand relationships start early - what does your brand mean to kids? Cartoon´s Newtwork research

Last night I had my Swedish girlfriends over to watch a Swedish TV show and we spoke about Ikea´s new strategy to not sell the traditional Swedish brands at their international shops, but instead re-create the iconic products as home brands. None of us liked the idea. We love buying the special chips and lollies (or Kalles kaviar as in the pic below) at Ikea, but not specifically because we like the taste, but because they remind us of our childhood. When living abroad it´s comforting to go shopping for all those brands you remember. Buying a similar product is not the same... Ikea is trying to save some bucks, but will bite the hand that feeds them and be left wounded.

What we experience as children is important. A fresh study from Cartoons Network´s called "New Generations" has revealed that brands like Lego, Milo and Vegemite have the highest recall among kids - something that will make those brands winners through the consumer´s life.

Children are very aware brands! When asked ‘What is your favorite ad?’ 66% of the kids used brands to identify commercials. Lego was the highest recognised brand in the toy category, with Milo and Vegemite coming top in food (91% and 89%) respectively. Coles´ "Prices are down" ad was one of their favourites.

When asked why kids liked ads, one in three (32%) said humour, with 27% saying they liked the product and 14% liking the music.

The study found that kids between 4 and 14 have seen an increase in their income, a nation-wide an average of $12.38 per week, money they spend on food and drinks, clothing and going out with friends and family.

Other findings:
- When asked about the future, more kids than in past research said they wished to travel, owning a fast car and having a university degree, while marriage, having kids and having a high-paying job are all falling priorities.

- Time spent doing sporting and outdoor activities was declining by 15% while playing with toys, reading and doing homework are on the rise.

- 68% of them using the internet every two to three days, and the interest in apps and tablets growing, screen time for children has never been higher.

- Facebook remains the most popular website, with one in five kids claiming to have more than 200 friends.

Is this important to for exampel a bank, a beer brand or a chicken producer? Should a car brand bother about a study of tweens? Is it relevant to those who target grown ups? Oh yeah... You may not be on their radar now, and perhaps your bulls eye is a couple of decades older, but what if brand relationships start really early, and you miss out if you get in too late? Our values and beliefs are created early on, and we are subconsciously influenced by messages sent to us early on. If you can create a feel around your brand early in a person´s life you will be able to reap when they are older. It might sound cynical, but it works. And if they learn to love your brand, they will love it, right - and you will give them a positive feeling which is purely a gift. It´s a win-win situation.

Spend a couple of minutes thinking of how you can be a part of the children´s lives.

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