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November 2022
5 Min read

Children as future clients. Cases and experiences

Irina Yaroshenko

International Sales Manager +4314120126

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Children are the future market for most goods and services. Statista predicts that the market will grow to 109.13 billion in 2026. And it’s certainly no secret that children are the real customers and influence their parents’ purchasing decisions.
In 1999, the American researcher Deborah Rodder-John documented twenty-five years of accumulated international research on children and their role as consumers. She incorporated her findings into a general conceptual framework of children’s consumer socialisation.

You can see how children’s motivation changes with age, and how they become more sophisticated in regard to products, brands, advertising campaigns. But their need for socialisation, knowledge, and the desire to be independent is also growing. Children under 7 want to play and learn, older children want to feel like adults.

One effective strategy for brands in relation to children can be the practice of edutainment (“education” + “entertainment”), which is exactly in line with the needs of children at all stages of consumer maturity.

Best practices

Retailers have been using the practice of edutainment for children’s services since the 2000s.

French hypermarket Carrefour was the first to offer children the chance to feel like adults and have their own little shopping trolleys. From time to time, Carrefour organises a career day where every child can try out being a cashier or salesperson.

Toy’R’us, the US chain with the slogan “Forbidden NOT to touch”, has launched a fun initiative: zones where children can freely play and interact with toys and games as they wish. Some shops are equipped with VR zones and holograms with popular characters.

The new Imaginarium shop in Madrid has completely transformed its interior into a playroom, with spaces for workshops and children’s birthday parties.

The collaboration between Playtime and Westfield has resulted in a string of play areas with educational workshops.

El Corte Inglés, one of the main toy distributors in Spain, is reorganising its toy department by the end of 2022, creating themed spaces where children can play with the products and test them out before making a purchasing decision. One of the most interesting offerings is the ‘Distroller’ area, where children can experience the adoption of a Ksimerito doll, a process that can take several visits to the shop. El Corte Inglés has already set up its own corners to play with toys from specific brands, such as Play-Doh or Nerf.

Airports are a great opportunity to mold your future customer. Tallinn airport, named one of the coziest in the world, has a sizeable interactive zone for children. Children can watch educational cartoons about airplanes and play freely in the area branded by famous brands.

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