Wealth generation: How parents use nostalgia to pass brands to children

Click here to read the cover feature: Is your brand ready for some home truths?
Click here to find out how tech brands are making themselves family friendly
To see how brands use real families, click here


Favourite brands are passed down through generations, for all types of family, the research reveals. Kenwood, with its strong nostalgic values of parents baking with their children, is one that benefits from this trend.

Marketing manager Jane Perry says such nostalgia is a strong part of the brand identity, and understanding how this relates to emotional attachment is something it is looking to understand further.

“For a lot of young women, the Kenwood mixer was something they saw in their grandma’s kitchen, and the brand is still very much a feature on wedding lists. It’s about turning a child that makes after-school smoothies with Kenwood appliances into a customer in later life,” she says.

Discovery’s study notes that brand preferences passed down by parents can go through a cycle of acceptance by children. Their initial high standing in kids’ minds is sometimes followed by a rebellion to push away what is seen as ’uncool’. But then brands often come full circle, as the now grown-up children remember the impact the brands had on their childhood. “I still ask my mum’s advice on food and cleaning products. If my mum trusts them I know I can,” says a mother in an ’achievers’ family.

Brands can also be passed upwards by generations. Children in one family took their parents shopping at fashion brands Topshop and Superdry, and helped their father pick an iPhone. Grandparents even absorbed technology brands from grandchildren. One grandmother notes: “I haven’t got any of these brands but I like to be able to talk about these things to them.”

While teenagers are quick to pick up on brand trends and to pressure parents into buying branded items for them, Discovery saw that trends for this age group wear off fast. This may prompt brands to introduce colour variants or limited editions.

Rachel Hunter and her daughter Renee Stewart

Some brands trade on nostalgia with a modern-day touch. In Australia and New Zealand, Pantene shampoo is famously linked to model and former wife of Rod Stewart, Rachel Hunter. She became synonymous with the brand’s 1990s catchphrase, ’It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen’. Last year, Hunter reprised her role as brand ambassador, this time with daughter Renee Stewart in tow.

Hunter’s reappearance and Stewart’s debut was to mark a brand refresh, encompassing a new shampoo formula and packaging. The duo embarked on a tour, giving interviews to media outlets on the way to generate PR for the campaign.

The brand will also push the family connection this year and will roll out its ’Proud sponsors of mum’ campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games. It paid for 25 athletes’ mothers to watch their children compete in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here