The ABC Of Children’s Branding
Branding for children is fun, creative and strategic. There’s more than what meets the eye when catching the attention of the little ones, it’s the big ones – the decision makers. Children are savvy. It’s not only important to capture their attention but to capture the attention of the decision makers that are purchasing for them (the adults). Child-centric brands range anywhere from toys to books, music, clothing, child care services, play centres, schools and the likes. Here we explore the ABC of successful branding for children.
A – Adults
Let’s start with the adults. When building a brand for children, it’s critical to acknowledge the adults as the purchasing agents. As customers, adults typically have the persona of a caregiver – one that is empathetic and kind, yet disciplined and well informed. Their purchasing patterns may range anywhere from spending money on a special gift for their child, to a budgeted decision (clothing for instance) knowing that their young infant may grow out of their clothes or it may be a balancing probabilities between quality and affordability, safety and security. The latter is certainly true when it comes to entrusting their decisions in child care centres or playgroups. Point is, irrespective of how much a child may want something or how fun it looks, it’s the parents’ decision or guardian in the end. The decision making process varies depending on the product or the services. Investing in an educational playgroup vs. buying a fun new toy greatly differs. One decision may be instantaneous, another long term. Irrespective of the maturity in the decision making process, there is still an element of fun. There is the child in each one of us after all! Adults purchasing children’s products or services become children themselves. They experience their childhood again in their own way. Building a brand that connects both with the adult and child therefore requires a playful intelligence that underpins a subconscious element of fun, curiosity and inquisitive enquiry.
B – Branding
Branding for children? Illustrations, typography and colour are a few elements as part of the experience. Illustrations have a unique tone and a universal appeal to children, and adults for that matter. Understanding tone and style is the key to age appropriate illustrations. Whether it be children’s clothing or educational play centres, each business is unique. Understanding the strategy that drives the business is critical to building the brand. Bright and vibrant colours entice an attraction to the brand that is imaginative, warm and playful. This also speaks to adults when entrusting their children to the brand as well.
C – Children
And finally, the children. The beauty of branding to children is that they have no filter. Children will instantly like, want, need (or demand!) something that catches their attention. There’s an instant connection between the brand and their desires. Unlike adults, where there is a mature set of filters in the consumer decision making process (choice, value for money, budgeting etc), children know what they want almost instantaneously. If they like it, they like it. If they want it, they want it. Seeing the brand through the lens of a child is an important element in children’s branding. Brand strategists embody a playfulness and inquisitiveness in order to see, feel, touch, taste and know it as if in the eyes of a child. As simple as it sounds, the process requires an unlayering of learnt brand perceptions. There’s a lot we can learn from children and our own childlike essence to harness our creativity to build a brand.
“Now we know our ABC, next time won’t you come and….”
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With joy, warmth and play.