Consumer Insights: Nickelodeon’s ‘International GPS: Kids’ Influence’

NEW YORK, United States. Viacom. August 20, 2012 (English) by Christian Kurz. -Unlike previous generations, decision-making within families today is almost entirely collaborative – and as kids become more influential, they’re impacting purchasing decisions. Whether it’s to teach their kid that his/her opinion matters – or because they feel that their child has a stronger opinion or is more knowledgeable about brands than they are – parents are asking their kids for their opinions and taking them seriously. In “International GPS: Kids’ Influence,” Nickelodeon takes a look at the relationships between parents and kids across 11 countries, today’s increasingly collaborative family dynamics and the power of kids’ influence over purchasing decisions.

Key Findings:

Parents and kids have a very different type of relationship than in past generations. The figures below are skewed particularly high in Brazil, Mexico, Poland and Korea, and less so in Western Europe.

  •  Two-thirds of parents agree that they are closer to their kid than their parents were to them, indicating less of a generation gap today.
  • 61% of parents agree that they were more fearful of disobeying their parents than their kid is of disobeying them.
  • A full 83% of parents consider their child to be one of their best friends – though this is much higher internationally than in the U.S.

Family decision-making has become less hierarchical and more collaborative in general.

There are a variety of approaches to decision-making, the majority of which involve kids’ input.

  • Board of Directors: In the most common approach, 56% of parents ultimately make the final decisions, but seek their kids’ input beforehand.
  • Family Meeting: In 44% of families, parents and kids discuss and decide together.
  • Parent Screen: In just over one-fifth of households, parents provide options and let the child decide.
  • Because I Said So: Only 13% of parents use this approach, making the decisions on their own.
  • Kids Cut Loose: In 9% of families, the child decides on their own.

Parents and kids share a lot of things, from content to music and fashion.

  • 94% share taste in TV shows, 98% watch TV together, 79% share music taste and 67% share clothing and shoes.

A majority of parents seek and consider their kids’ input about purchases: 71% of parents in the U.S. and 94% of parents internationally talk to their kids prior to buying something.

  • In the U.S., parents seek their children’s opinions when buying products for the kids (95%), for the family (69%) or for themselves (28%).
  • Internationally, parents seek their children’s opinions when buying products for the kids (99%), for the family (87%) or for themselves (55%).

Purchasing decisions are also collaborative across product categories. Kids make decisions or decide with parents when it comes to:

  • Clothes/shoes (85%)
  • Fast food (85%)
  • Mobile phones (49%)
  • Vacations (56%)

Parents often bring their kids to the store and kids often ask for things while shopping.

  • 77% of kids accompany parents to clothing stores and 98% ask for things.
  • 78% of kids accompany parents to drug stores and 93% ask for things.
  • 67% of parents online shop with their kids. 

Kids and brand recognition

Kids learn about brands from friends, the Internet and ads on television.

  • 67% of kids learn about brands from friends, a figure that jumps to 71% in Canada and 82% in the UK.
  • 63% of kids learn about brands online, a figure that jumps to 71% in the UK and 82% in Brazil.
  • 57% of kids learn about brands from ads on television, a figure that jumps to 62% in the UK and 66% in Mexico.

TV sparks the most requests from kids for products they’ve seen advertised.

  • 62% of requests come from brands they’ve seen advertised on TV – this figure jumps to 83% in Brazil.
  • 50% of requests come from brands they’ve seen advertised online and 46% come from brands they’ve seen advertised in magazines.

Online, families learn about products through specific searches and brand websites (82% kids, 78% parents), and social media offerings, including those targeted at children (34% kids, 32% parents).

Kids hold economic power like never before

76% of kids globally receive some sort of spending number – this figure is higher in Germany (91%), the UK (88%) and Poland (86%).

For the most part, kids spend their money. The money they save is saved for “nothing in particular.”

  • Across all countries surveyed, kids spend anywhere from 48% (in Belgium) and 66% (in Korea) of their money.

On a global average, 60% discuss finances and savings with their family. Discussions about savings tend to pertain to education, travel, electronics, cars or a home/apartment for the child.

Implications:

  •  Understanding family dynamics when it comes to decision-making is key to unlocking families’ budgets.
  • Given the power of kids’ influence over purchasing decisions, marketers would be remiss to exclude kids from their messaging and branding.
  • When creating messaging and branding, marketers should keep in mind the types of products and stores kids have the most influence over. For example, nearly all kids ask for products at grocery (98%) and clothing stores (98%) – and are frequently granted their wishes.

The methodology:

This study was based on a quantitative online study with 6,900 kids 9-14 and 8,700 parents of 6-14-year-olds, across 11 countries.

Christian Kurz is Vice President of Research, Insight and Reporting at Viacom International Media Networks.

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