Kids listen to playmates about cool brands

Youngsters are growing increasingly brand and technology savvy but it’s the opinions of best friends that are most influential when it comes to what things they perceive to be “cool”, according to research commissioned by Marketing Week.

As part of an in-depth look at branding and children, Fly Research talked to 377 children and their parents for an online survey.

The research shows that 91% of six- to 11-year-olds say best friends are most influential in giving a brand the “cool factor” but seeing it on television runs a close second at 89%. Friends or family talking about a brand comes in third as an influencer.

The internet is now having an effect on how brands are perceived, with 83% of the respondents saying seeing an item on the internet makes it cool. When split on gender lines, 86% of girls buy into internet cool power against 81% of boys. Girls are also more likely to give credence to an item if it is endorsed by a favourite celebrity (82% vs 78%).

Looking at brands, it is consoles that top the cool list, with Nintendo taking the top slot with an average score of 76.49, followed by Wii and PlayStation. Pizza Hut is the first non-console brand to feature in the list followed by Xbox and McDonald’s and Sony PSP.

There is a difference between the top 15 cool brands for six- to eight-year-olds and those aged nine to 11. Disney and Coco Pops make the list for the younger set, while the older age group is drawn to more “grown-up” brands, putting Adidas, Apple and Facebook in their top 15.

To read the full feature in this week’s magazine click here.

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