Seems like kids never had it so good. And parents have never had it so tough. Apart from the tonnes of brands targeted at exclusively at kids, several mainstream brands have launched a kid-focused variant. The brands that come to mind include Pears Junior, Parachute Advansed Starz, Colgate and Pepsodent. The logic for such variants is sound: without too much of an extra cost, one can acquire new customers and expand the brand franchise. The packaging and nomenclature are usually kid friendly – strawberry and pink, use of cartoon characters and so on. Categories that anyway find regular usage in the personal care category – soaps, shampoos, hand wash etc., are prime candidates for such variants. If handled well these have potential to become big businesses of their own. The factors that work in favour of such variants:
– kids get ‘older’ faster than ever before. Their exposure to brands and gadgets start at an early age – my 2-year old daughter recognizes the Vicks bottle for god’s sake.
– parents are experimenting with new categories in personal care – hair gels, dyes, body lotions find the way into the house more now. They in turn get familiar with the kids
– the pester power of kids transcends brands targeted at them
– media stars are created every day. The Parachute Advansed Starz packaging sports ‘Hum Tum’ like cartoon characters. Others like Disney, popular movie titles are also up for grabs
The challenge for marketers will be to: (a) offer a variant that is relevant and viable (b) ensure that the mother brand does not evoke an ‘uncool’ imagery among kids (c) put together a ‘package’ that has kid appeal (d) ensure consistency with the mother brand.
Prepare for more action on this front in the coming months.