Path To Purchase: The Power Of Children In Determining Household Buying Decisions
By Solafunmi Oyeneye, Senior Channels Manager, Giuliana Dias, Senior Director, Research & Insight, ViacomCBS Networks Africa.
The collaborative process of purchase decisions within homes can no longer be denied. Long gone are the days when there was a top-down hierarchy in households, and the decision making was the sole preserve of parents. These days, especially in homes with millennial parent’s aged 25 to 35, children are more actively involved and have more influence on decisions made in households.
The research revealed four key drivers behind the shift to a more inclusive, collaborative decision making in households.
Unprecedented Tech Access – In recent times, with nearly 12 devices per household, kids have unprecedented access to information and parents are no longer the gatekeepers of information in the home. In fact, parents are more likely to leverage their children’s knowledge in making more informed purchase decisions for the family; as children are likely to be more aware of brands and are able to filter that information into whether or not they want to purchase products from these brands.
Millennial Upbringing– This second key driver is attributed to the shift to a more inclusive, collaborative decision making within the home. Majority of millennials attended daycare, participated in playgroups, played organized sports, making them more accustomed to collaboration and teamwork. They infuse this into their style of parenting in their willingness to see their children as teammates in the success of the family. Young parents have reimagined the roles of kids in the family; as a result, decisions are made as a family, with kids playing a significant role in the outcome.
Financial Awareness– Millennial parents have also made it a priority to teach their kids about financial awareness, informing them on the financial situation of the family. Children are no longer shielded from the economic realities of their family. Research conducted by ViacomCBS on families with children aged 6 – 14 revealed that over 60% of the kids were aware of household budgets, and about 45% were aware of how much things cost.
With this knowledge, kids can balance the information they have of brands with the economic realities of their family in order to manage their expectations. With a collaborative effort of parents and kids, decisions can be made more easily acceptable by every member of the household.
Family Closeness–This last driver identified in the study indicates 78% of Nigerian parents saying they want to be best friends with their kids. Families are closer than ever, kids are no longer looking up to just athletes and celebrities, they’re also beginning to look up to their parents.Parents are able to better connect with their children, by having more conversations that are open and sharing more amongst themselves.
Sharing ranges from health, financial and even household purchase decisions. Family sharing has become automatic and unconscious. Do children however have opinions on all categories of purchase? Out of 25 categories tested in Nigeria, most kids are involved in at least 14 out of these 25 categories. Their greatest influence being over entertainment, food and groceries, restaurants, electronics, vacation and telecommunication. This means that in households with kids, they play a significant role in the final purchasing decisions that concern any of these six categories.
The path to purchase in households has become a collaborative process of negotiations between parents and children, who are influenced more by emotional than rational factors.
Parents are influenced by how happy a purchase makes their kids, while kids are influenced by how happy they will be with a product. Both parents and kids consider if a product will enable the family to spend more time together. Parents are also likely to spend 60% more when their kids are involved in decision making within the household.
Understanding these paths to purchase will enable brands to engage and provide for different members of the family. Therefore, brands in creating their messages must reach both parentsand kids, as they both play critical roles in purchase decisions. Within the TV environment we know that the best place to find parents and kids simultaneously is children’s television.
Interestingly,for everyone childwatching any Nickelodeon channel, there are at least four females aged 25 and above watching at the same time. With over 245,000 kids (aged 7-14) on the Nickelodeon channels monthly, the majority of viewers per month are mums 25+ which are over a million viewers monthly.
Though parents (Mums) usually make the final purchase decisions within households, the role that children play in these decisions cannot be denied. These influential members of the home should be treated as important by brands in determining and communicating their message to target families.