Don’t forget the kids

Your article “Put your brand in the hands of mother” (MW 11 February) ably demonstrated the power and influence of modern day mums for brand success.

No longer a menace? The new PC-friendly Dennis by the BBC

However, while the needs of mums are undoubtedly vital, it must also be remembered that the end consumers of family products and services are the children themselves.

In the Nineties we witnessed a period in which the pendulum of brand focus swung massively towards children, which led to the consequential erosion of brand trust among parents. While a correction of balance was required, it is critical that the pendulum does not swing too far the other way, thus risking the alienation of kids.

A great recent example is the BBC’s “conservative” makeover of Dennis the Menace, which has received a negative response from parents and experts alike (in a politically correct makeover, the cartoon character has been cleaned up with a cheeky grin and can now be seen without his catapult, water pistol and peashooter).

Furthermore the success of the book “Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)” is further evidence of the resurgent appetite for a more traditional childhood. Yes brands do need to build trust with mums but they also need to appeal to the natural spirit of children.

Dave Lawrence, Senior consultant, The Value Engineers

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