Children now-a-days have become key influencers and participants in every purchase decision due to the changing demographics of Indian families. Parents involve them by taking their opinion while shopping. All thanks to this dynamic age group and their ever evolving entertainment needs, it is no surprise that kid-focussed entertainment has multiplied. Children are entering and exiting age groups at great speed and every age group comes with its own set of preferences.
Kids are an important demographic category for marketers. With 450 million child population and another 8 million being added each year, India is the world’s youngest country. Every brand has done the math; it is now known that kids hold the purse strings and are in-house consultants, influencing almost every household decision whether it is a family vacation, purchase of a computer, or a mobile phone or something still more aspirational. Children, being the hubs of information, recognise brands almost from infancy, form opinions and are extremely brand conscious. Today, they are not only consumers in their own right but also directly or indirectly influence all family purchase decisions. In fact, children have very distinct likes, dislikes and preferences across various categories such as food, FMCG products, apparel and fashion. All of this and more make the kids’ segment a force to reckon with.
There is no doubt that children establish a significant marketing zone and today they occupy an important place in the marketing mix. Marketing has changed the way the children react and, therefore, behave in response to messages they are exposed to. Insurance companies such as Aviva and Bajaj Alliance support the young minds to pursue their career in sports like cricket and football. Indirectly, they aim to make parents listen, accountable and responsible towards their children’s future and invest at the right time.
Del Monte as a brand has always considered kids for any consumer connect initiatives or innovations. Where at one side brands like Tang, Center Fruit, Parle Milk Shakti Milky Sandwich and Oreo Biscuits are bringing in the fun element of consuming, on the other side some are connecting with younger generations on educational platforms as well.
Kids are also early adopters of technology and with the increasing penetration of the smart phones and the time being spent by kids online, the future lies in digital offerings as well.
Kids have a major influence on the purchases that the parents/guardians make across categories, and this is because the parents tend to indulge the kids or may feel that the kids know better in some cases (such as electronics, gadgets and fast food) as they are Gen X, or that the kids are more in tune with certain categories (sports shoes and apparel, candy/confectionery, etc).
Influencing the kids today may prove advatageous for the marketer if used wisely; integrating brands in commercial films has become a highly effective way to reach out to consumers subliminally and in the right environment. So when advertising (directly or indirectly) to children, it is important to exercise control and use PR and social media extensively to reach out to them and their parents, all the while ensuring that the communication is all about explaining the product benefits (health, fun, energy, etc).