Thursday, May 30, 2024

Little decision-makers influencing buys

Although kids may not have the financial means themselves to buy things they’ve seen advertised, they certainly have the persuasive powers to see them sold.

According to the latest Roy Morgan Research ‘Young Australians Survey’, the persuasive power of children depends on their age and what is being bought.

When asked to nominate which items they ‘mainly decide’ to buy from a list of 30 products (ranging from food and leisure goods to technology and toiletries), 42.3 per cent of children aged between six and 13 chose ‘type of breakfast cereals’, 42.1 per cent said ‘brand of sweets’ and 41.6 per cent named ‘shoes for me’.

In contrast, 84.7 per cent named the ‘family car’ as something their ‘parents mainly decide’ on, followed by ‘brand of shampoo’ (75.2 per cent) and ‘brand of conditioner’ (74.5 per cent).

It’s not all black and white, though. While many Aussie kids may not have the final say on household buying decisions, their opinions do count. For example, 38.1 per cent reported helping their parents decide which ‘clothes for me’ to buy, an almost identical proportion to those who said they helped their folks decide on ‘DVDs/Blu-rays’ (37.8 per cent) and ‘movies rented’ (37.6 per cent).

Not surprisingly, Australian kids aged 10-13 are consistently more influential than six to nine year olds in their family’s buying decisions and tend to use their pester power for different kinds of items than younger children.

While the six- to nine-year-old age group is most likely to exert influence over food-buying decisions (with toys being the only inedible item in their top five), older children’s input ‘mainly decides’ on buying shoes, clothes and leisure products, with the only food in their top five being sweets such as chocolate and lollies.

Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine says savvy marketers and brands wishing to succeed with this sought-after consumer group must be able to identify whether to target kids directly or appeal to their parents, “who – let’s face it – ultimately control the purse strings.”

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