Kids can be difficult to market to, as they are notorious for craving the latest and greatest things and are quick to move on from trends. With brands seemingly developing new products every single day, it’s more important than ever for marketers to understand exactly what the younger generation is drawn to and how to pinpoint the most profitable opportunities.
New Study Dives Into The Younger Demographic
A recent study from Brand Love identified the fan favorite brands from U.S. households with children ages 6 to 12 (pulling from both the kids and the parents). This year’s version of Brand Love’s annual brand equity study, conducted online, focused on 350 brands across 19 different categories, with a total of 16,363 children and parents completing the assessment.
Brand Love’s study ranked brands by their “Kidfinity” and “Parentfinity” scores, a.k.a. proprietary measures of kid/tween and mom/dad brand awareness, popularity and love. The Brand Love scores are based on data surrounding brand perceptions, usage, usage frequency, usage context and future usage. Brand Love’s study also incorporated information on the participating kids' lifestyles and behaviors, including factors like self-perceptions and extra-curricular activities.
YouTube Reigns Supreme For Kids
YouTube took the cake this year as the favorite brand among kids, beating out the 2018 favorite, OREO. With 97% of kids stating they “love” or “like” the video platform, 92% of kids actively using the site and 78% of kids engaging with the brand at least once per day, it’s safe to say the fascination and use of YouTube is high.
There’s no doubt YouTube has earned its crown, but we can’t ignore the fellow big name brands that also came through with impressive results. Netflix was high in the charts at #7, while Disney's pending streaming service, Disney+, is stirring up excitement, making the list at #56. 80% of kids stated they “definitely” or “probably" will use the streaming service in the next year. Fortnite received the largest annual gain award, placing itself on the list at #89, with Hulu also showing improvement from last year, coming in at #113.
In what some may consider a big surprise – as these brands are household names to say the least – Twitter, Forever 21, McDonald's and Shopkins are among the companies with the largest annual losses in kid-love rankings.
Parents Weigh In On Their Favorite Brands
Children hold significant purchasing power and influence their parents’ buying decisions. For that reason, Brand Love weaved in an interesting comparison between both demographics, sharing the top kid-focused brands from parents of kids ages 6 to 12.
The favorite kid-focused brand went to Amazon, followed closely by Crayola and Netflix. The remaining brands within the top ten included several major snack companies – like Hershey’s and OREO – along with childhood classics like The Lion King and Toy Story.
Digital Marketers Are Eager To Reach Younger Audiences
The process of advertising to children is no doubt tricky, with kids and parents both actively influencing marketing tactics of several brands looking to reach the younger demographic. But, the desire to resonate with these younger kids isn’t slowing down. In 2018, digital advertising spend to kids amounted to $900 million, and the total ad spend to kids in 2019 is predicted to reach $4.4 billion. Brands will no doubt need to meet somewhere in the middle of the younger and older generations in order to successfully reach both audiences through a single message.