Good morning all, are we enjoying the weather?  I bet your little darlings are, and are begging to go out and about to make the most of it?  Yup, kids certainly are persuasive little things and that is precisely why they are such a desirable type of consumer.

But marketing to the sproglets is a slightly different kettle of fish than marketing to ma and pa.  For one, the majority of the time it is still the parent who is the decision maker and the purchaser, although kids do get opportunities to spend pocket money on items, so you really need to think like two people, a grown up and a child, when marketing to children.

Of course the general marketing principles are the same;

  • Is it the right product for your market

  • Is it retailing at the the right price

  • Is it marketed in the right place

  • Is the promotion right

And you need to have a goal in mind plus strategy and campaign/s set in place in order to reach it, but when it comes to getting the little ‘uns on board, it is very much about being fun and exciting.  Like I mentioned earlier, it is likely to be the parent who has the final say and for this reason you must also make clear the ‘boring’ benefits of your product too.  Is it healthy, perhaps it’s educational, it might even offer the opportunity to have a go at the arts…

…and for the kids; “is it cool”, “which influencers are talking about it, using it or wearing it” and “are my friends doing it?”.  By making the promise of something the child wants you are automatically capturing their interest.

Now, these influencers do not by any means have to be Beyonce or David Beckham, I’d have to go a long way to find that sort of marketing budget!  As kids grow up they have the desire to become more and more independent so naturally, older children will be influencers as people whom they look up to.  When marketing to children, a common strategy that is used is to feature kids in your advertising etc. who are just a little older than the ones you are targeting. For example, when I was younger I was desperate to be doing and wearing what my sister was who is two and a bit years my senior.  Therefore, a nine year old child will be  interested in what a twelve year old is up to so using an eleven year old in your marketing is a safe bet.

Visual marketing is an ideal way of achieving this and very important with this younger audience as it’s a great way to create brand awareness.  If you have a cool looking logo that they can draw themselves then great.  If they can be seen wearing something that is desirable – great, so on and so forth.

So which channels are best when marketing to children?  Television is always going to be a winner but is also very costly and only an option for some companies so focus more locally and look at packaging as a way to start.  Make it eye catching and funky as images speak louder than words to children.  It might be a good idea to incorporate something they can collect or a prize draw they can enter.  ‘The more times you enter the more chance you have of winning…one entry per printed code’ type of thing.  Then moving on you can look at social media (particularly video for this market), apps, computer games and team/event sponsorship.

Kids rarely think about cost, so in order to get the adults on board too your product should be relatively inexpensive or marketed as a once in a lifetime experience thus creating the desire of potentially missing an opportunity that may not come about again.  Children will 9/10 times influence their parents when they are selecting a product but perhaps more importantly, when they grow up the potential is there to turn them into consumers themselves.

Oh, one last thing – free sweets always go down well too!

So what’s in store next week?  Online vs offline – The battle of the channels.  Front row tickets are now on sale at  See you there!

Marketing products for Children

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