Got kids? If you do, you know how influential your kids regarding the family's buying decisions---to the tune of $500 billion per year according to statistics.

This past fall, marketing research firm, Smarty Pants published its findings in a major study of 4,700 American families with kids ranging in age from 6-12 years of age, as well as their parents, to find out what the top 100 brands were for each segment. This is the second year Smarty Pants conducts its “Young Love” survey.

Top 5 for kids and tweens:

  • Wii

  • McDonald’s

  • M&M’s

  • Disney Channel

  • Oreos

Top 5 for moms:

  • Crayola

  • M&M’s

  • Disney

  • Wii

  • Subway

Not surprisingly, most of the top brands appear in both surveys, but not in the same order of importance. What’s interesting is the continuing staying power of venerable, heritage brands, as well as that of brands like Wii, often referred to as one of the top brands “yesterday” by the media. Apparently, American families beg to differ. And that, my friends, is why market research is so important.

This kind of information is obviously vital for kids’ brand managers. Marketing to kids and their parents, as gatekeepers, is the key to long-term brand success. High rankings confirm marketing strategy success. Lower rankings point to the need to reach kids and parents with a more effective strategy.

Do you concur with the Young Love survey? What does your internal family survey say? After all, we’re all unique!

  • What are your top family brands?

  • What are your kids’ top brands?

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image of Ted Mininni

Ted Mininni is president and creative director of Design Force, a leading brand-design consultancy.

LinkedIn: Ted Mininni