Little Big Influencers in Northern Europe

Kids in Northern Europe have a lot of influence over their parents’ purchase decisions, according to a recent Nickelodeon Kids & Family GPS study.

In Northern Europe, who’s making purchasing decisions when it comes to food, beverages, vacations, consumer electronics, fashion, cars and toys? Kids!

Nearly all kids (98%) in Northern Europe are involved in purchase decisions today. A new Viacom International study, Little Big Influencers, reveals how kids in that region influence their parents’ purchases, where kids get ideas on what to buy, and the role that money and advertising play. The project consisted of online surveys with kids 6 to 13 and their parents in 6 countries across Northern Europe (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Poland and Sweden), as well as qualitative pair interviews in four of those countries.

A video summary of the project is available here.

The following are key findings from this study:

Kids have a lot of influence. Almost all children participate in decision-making processes about purchases. Across categories, parents take their kids’ opinions very seriously. The areas where kids have the most influence are toys (88%), fashion (79%) and places to go (79%). Additionally, 54% of parents say their kids always or often accompany them to the grocery store.

Parent-child relationships are very close. Two-thirds of parents claim to be closer to their kids than their parents were to them, illustrating how much parents trust their children today. Additionally, 9 out of 10 parents say they frequently ask their child’s opinions about purchases, and 4 in 10 confirm that their children are more knowledgeable than them about several product areas (especially toys and gaming).

Kids have the word. Children 6 to 13 often initiate conversations about products, with nearly 90% asking their parents about new things they’ve heard of. Parents listen, too–two-thirds say their children influence them strongly on what to buy.

Kids have money to spend. With 6 in 10 Northern European children getting pocket money, their spending power is significant—adding up to more than 3 billion Euros per year across the six markets in this study.

TV is most relevant. Apart from conversations with parents and friends, TV ads are most central to kids’ discovery of new products. Not only do 80% of kids get ideas about what they want from them, 81% tell their parents about cool TV ads they’ve seen. Kids’ high-level use of laptops, tablets and smartphones demonstrates the importance of multi-platform targeting for advertisers.