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"Children's needs are not simple, they embrace all evolutive areas"

Helena Figuerola, psychologist and expert in marketing research

  • Key4Communications

Helena Figuerola, psychologist and expert in marketing research, works with businesses aimed at children in order to help them understand the role of kids within family shopping, the influence of new technologies and branded content on children, and how the current economic situation influences kids and families.

What are the features of Kid's Knowledge method?
The method is the result of 25 years of work with this segment of the population, getting to know its dynamics and evolution. Messages received by children today are not the same as those received ten years ago. By then, children's world could not be seen as a system of its own, with its language, icons and power. Now it is, and moreover children are aware of this status. It is also important to consider all the evolutionary stages: now all adolescence defining factors emerge sooner.

The method has the virtue of defining what are the key parameters that build successful products - if a brand responds correctly to these four keys it has the foundation necessary to be accepted by the market. A fifth key depends on the company and therefore is personalized and tailored to the philosophy of the company.

How are young audiences changing? Do companies take into account this evolution of their audience?

Children are subjected to crisis like adults: they press less on buying whims, but at the same time they are evolving towards a more selective consumer behaviour. Another aspect of change is the influence of technology. The use and possession of technology is influencing all aspects of kids' life: how they think, how they react, how they perceive the world, how they interact...

Companies are not very up to date with the current values of children: all strategies are more dedicated to the trade market. Here we find an important gap, since firms are missing the opportunity to relate to and make their audiences loyal.

What has to be taken into account when a company want to sell a product to children?
You can only answer this question with a common sense phrase - you must take into account what the kid wants and needs. Children's needs are not simple, they embrace all evolutive areas: intellectual, emotional, social... This is one of the core issues of Kid's Knowledge.

How is the economic situation affecting the actions of companies when dealing with children?
The economic situation is affecting kids a lot because the behaviour of children is not as impulsive as before, so neither the media nor promotions are as effective today as they were some years ago. The influence of the mother-children relationship is determinative.

How important are brands for kids?
Brands for the children universe are not the same as for adults. A license is a brand for a boy or a girl, a brand is also everything that provides a group acceptance. The most challenging issue is when the kid becomes a preteen and wants to leave everything that makes him or her feel as a child. Therefore, there are brands that he or she will leave behind and others that he or she will continue to use.

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