linked in facebook twitter rss

  • Interbrand
  • Brandchannel

your chance!
your chance!
also of interest...


  Targeting Tots: How brands connect with children   Targeting Tots: How brands connect with children  Vivian Manning-Schaffel  
Targeting Tots: How brands connect with children Kim Bremer, Earth’s Best’s Director of Infant Feeding, says parents and families should recognize the influence of characters like Elmo and the effect of Sesame Street’s brand on youngsters. “Kids know Elmo because they watch Sesame Street from the time they are one, and brand recognition is something they see, watch and recognize,” says Bremer. “We take the toddler audience very seriously.”

Earth’s Best, an organic baby and toddler food brand, is enjoying the fruits of a mutually beneficial, co-branded partnership with Sesame Workshop. And within this context, their products are breeding the next generation of brand loyalists. However—capitalistic cynicism aside—this targeted opportunity wasn’t inspired by profit potential, but from a shared mission to build “Healthy Habits for Life.”

“Brand recognition is always a benefit of entering into a partnership, but that wasn’t the driving factor of why we did it,” says Bremer. “We aren’t out there trying to make a profitable mass gain with products full of sugar. Sesame Workshop were seeking out leaders in the natural organic industry to partner with and they chose our brand because of our product profile and pronounced leadership in the marketplace.”

Greg Livingston, co-author of Marketing to the New Super Consumer Mom & Kid and chief development officer of Wonder Group, a branding agency that specializes in child-related brands points out that, to a toddler, having Elmo on your side certainly doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t necessarily result in any measurable or significant emotional level of brand loyalty. “Recognizing Sesame Street characters and branding elements are different from recognizing the brand,” says Livingston.

Perhaps that’s why marketers at Fisher-Price, an American toy-manufacturing brand, set their sights on kids who are slightly more mature. "We advertise to kids starting at age three. It's at this age when kids begin to have a voice about what they like, and that choice will be desired and appreciated by mom,” says Lisa Mancuso, senior vice president of marketing at Fisher-Price.

"We diligently consider branding elements that appeal to young children,” adds Mary Carson, director of advertising at Fisher-Price. “We want kids to ask mom for the product featured, so conveying the product or line name is important in our advertising.”

The Earth’s Best Tots line target spans from 18 months to 5 years of age, and Bremer says although mom is the gatekeeper, their packaging carefully considers the power of a toddler’s influence. “We went after primary colors, things that moms said were really eye-catching and fun, and obviously the characters are prominent because they are very recognizable,” she says.

Regardless of when they develop brand awareness, more and more very young children are permitted to voice their product preferences. “We call these purchase decisions, ‘off the leash,’” says Livingston. “It’s a purchasing decision where mom has approved the category, and is comfortable with her kids making the decision, like yogurt, cereals and so forth. Today’s mom is part of and really the leader of this dynamic that engages their kids in decision-making. They say it gives them the opportunity to teach their children to make decisions.”

And believe it or not, moms feel it’s less time consuming this way. “Today’s mom is highly educated but she’s extremely torn between her job and child rearing. She doesn’t have a whole lot of time or a whole lot of money,” says Dave Siegel, President of Wonder Group and co-author of aforementioned Marketing to the New Super Consumer Mom & Kid. “She’s going to keep the arguments down to the bare minimum, so she asks the child their opinions.”

So how can a brand position itself to get through to tykes? Remember that it’s mom who ultimately holds the purse strings and develop a strategy that considers both parent and child. “You have to understand what your product category is, where your product is going to deliver and so forth,” says Livingston. “Sometimes the packaging, and branding element calls for 75 percent kid and 25 percent mom. It all depends on the target child’s age and product category.”

“We don't take mom out of the equation for our kid-directed products,” concurs Mancuso. “Our approach for developing such product continues to be ‘kid cool, mom approved.’ All of our products have a developmental benefit for the child so mom can feel good about her purchase."

This ‘feel good’ approach is instrumental in staking out a foothold in the kiddie category. “When we first asked moms what Sesame Street means to them as a brand, they said things like, ‘I trust it.’ ‘I’m loyal to it.’ ‘I feel good about it.’ ‘I know what I can expect from it,’” says Bremer. “And those are all the things they associate with our brand on an emotional level.” Trust, loyalty and a feel-good decision. What parent can resist? Especially when their child is pointing at it from seat of a shopping cart.     



Vivian Manning-Schaffel is a freelance writer who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

 commenting closed Add Social Bookmark bookmark  print
 suggest topic  recommend ( 123 )  email

Targeting Tots: How Brands Connect with Children
 Targeting kiddi shuld be primarily through gatekeeper,that is, mom.It is pretty tedious to entrench the brand in the mind space of the ones who adopt the brand not based on the reasons rather on five senses grounded pleasure concepts.This is where mom intervens.But for the marketers and sellers alike,this,I belive,is not so herculean task,as this quite common in B2B business where you have a few solid hurdles before you get encounter the decision maker/s who finally put the approving seals.
Anyway,article is very good. 
Mohd. Rizwan Alam, Asst. Professor, Preston University - July 27, 2009
  brandchannel home archive   2013  |  2012  |  2011  |  2010  | 2009  |  2008  |  2007  |  2006  |  2005  |  2004  |  2003  |  2002  |  2001
Dec 18, 2009 The Networked Boomer Woman: Hear Us Roar -- Mya Frazier
  Boomer women now spending on themselves.
Sep 14, 2009 Brand Engagement: Packaging Service Brands -- Randall Frost
  Why brands and employees must share values.
Sep 7, 2009 After the Fall: What Really Happens to Bankrupt Brands -- Barry Silverstein
  How dead brands live through licensing.
Aug 31, 2009 Guerilla Event Marketing—A Mob in a Flash -- Jennifer Gidman
  Mob mentality connects with advertisers.
Aug 24, 2009 Small Country, Big Brands -- Barry Silverstein
  Swiss brands adapt to a changing world.
Aug 17, 2009 Farmwashing: Big Food’s Branding Woes...Again -- Mya Frazier
  Food brands farm out idyllic perceptions.
Aug 10, 2009 How Sports Brands Create Brand Fanatics -- Barry Silverstein
  Sports brands score with fans.
Aug 3, 2009 2009 brandcameo Product Placement Awards Survey
  Readers react to product placements in this year's number one films.
Jul 20, 2009 Rebranding: Looking Beyond Logos in India
  Why some Indian Brands brand beyond logos.
Jul 13, 2009 Brandinavia: Why Nordic Brands Rule -- Barry Silverstein
  How Scandinavia’s Viking roots empower its brands.
Jul 6, 2009 Nouveau Niche: Targeting African Immigrants in the US -- Mya Frazier
  The US’s newest untapped demographic.
Jun 29, 2009 What Now for the Money Brands? -- Barry Silverstein
  Financial brands invest in the future.
Jun 22, 2009 Cleared for Landing? Airline Brands and China -- Laura Fitch
  Can airline brands spread their wings in China?
Jun 15, 2009 African Diamond Brands: Romancing the Stone -- A.K. Cabel
  Can African diamonds cut the cultural glass ceiling?
Jun 8, 2009 Beer Wars: Branding Lessons of the Independents -- Mya Frazier
  Independent beer brands take a stand.
Jun 1, 2009 New Opportunities for Healthcare Brands -- Barry Silverstein
  Healthcare brands learn to operate in the future.
May 25, 2009 Why Brands Have an Eye on Facebook - Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Brands want to friend Facebook.
May 18, 2009 By Design: Luxury Brands in China -- Laura Fitch
  Can luxury brands take mainland China?
May 11, 2009 Ethnic Food Brands: A Guide to the World on a Shelf -- Barry Silverstein
  Ethnic food brands reflect changing tastes.
May 4, 2009 The Purchasing Power of Middle Eastern Moms
  Appreciating the Middle Eastern mother demographic.
Apr 27, 2009 Can Brand Loyalty Be Bought? -- Barry Silverstein
  A faithful look at consumer loyalty.
Apr 20, 2009 Risky Business: When Personalities Promote Brands -- Mya Frazier
  Branding is personal for some employees.
Apr 13, 2009 Made in Japan: The Culture Behind the Brand -- Chauncey Zalkin
  How Japanese people make Japanese Brands.
Apr 6, 2009 Marketing Strategies that Build Value -- Barry Silverstein
  How new ideas create old-school value.
Mar 30, 2009 Trade Shows: Where Brands Make a Stand -- Asher Levine
  How brands represent at trade shows.
Mar 23, 2009 Brandchannel’s 2009 brandjunkie awards results -- Jim Thompson
  The 2009 brandjunkie results are in!
Mar 16, 2009 Packaging: Lessons from Tropicana’s Fruitless Design -- Jennifer Gidman
  Tropicana gets squeezed by loyal customers.
Mar 9, 2009 Franchise Brands: More than a Logo -- Barry Silverstein
  Franchise brands cross cultures.
Mar 2, 2009 BRIC Beauty Brands Looking Good -- Ana Paula Palombo Terzi
  BRIC brands smell of success.
Feb 23, 2009 Magazine Brands: A Niche for Success -- Barry Silverstein
  Magazine brands are bound to niche readers.
Feb 16, 2009 Celebrity Brands: Extending 15 Minutes of Fame -- Vivian Manning-Schaffel
  Can beauty alone make a brand?
Feb 9, 2009 Detroit’s Big Three: Car Brands in a Pile-Up -- Dale Buss
  US car brands’ crash course in brand engagement.
Feb 2, 2009 Airlines 2.0: Online Technologies Take Off in a Recession -- Shashank Nigam
  Airline brands buckle up for economic turbulence.
Jan 26, 2009 The Big Three in ED: Pharma Brands Get in the Mood -- Barry Silverstein
  The ABCs of ED pills.
Jan 19, 2009 Peanut Butter Brands Go Nuts -- Jennifer Gidman
  These peanut butter brands stick together.
Jan 12, 2009 Portuguese Brands: Why the Past is the Future -- Joe Ray
  Old school brands teach new branding lessons.
Jan 5, 2009 Brand Extensions: Risks and Rewards -- Barry Silverstein
  Can brand extensions reach budgeting consumers?