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Companies Are Talking to Your Child

Published on August 7, 2017, at 8:58 a.m.
by Brie Carter.

Walking down the cereal aisle in the grocery store can be quite entertaining. You will find jokes, animals, characters and a plethora of colors. Have you noticed the kids’ cereal is always near the bottom shelves? It’s because cereal marketers are communicating directly to your child.

The placement of children’s cereal is not by accident. It is directly at their eye level. Not only are cereal companies trying to get your child to stop and look, but they also want your child to be reluctant to leave the aisle without the box with Bugs Bunny on the front in their hands.

This marketing strategy goes back to appealing to the key audience. Yes, you may be the ones actually making the purchase, but your kids are the ones who are consuming the product. They are the ones who can best influence your buying power. Genius, right?

Companies start early with their branding efforts. If they can get kids to think of the bird for Cocoa Puffs, for example, then they are in business, literally. Now all they have to do is make sure that same bird is easily recognizable and accessible.

When marketers target their young audiences specifically, first by what is pleasing to their eye and then by what is easy to reach, it starts a new, and hopefully long-lasting, relationship — thereby turning a marketing strategy into a public relations strategy.

These companies want to create specific memories with your kid. Whether it be during the rush of getting ready for school or making an afternoon Rice Krispy Treat, they are pushing to be on your kitchen table.

These memories will turn a want into need, since children can’t fully understand the difference yet. After this “have-to-have” brain cell occurs, it becomes a purchasing habit for you and a consuming habit for them.

Once your kid grows up, let’s say college-aged, they might change the type of cereal that they once ate. But it is likely they will stay within the brand family, such as Kellogg’s. Little do they know, this brand loyalty has been in the works for years now.

Hence, maybe it isn’t a bad idea to target kids. Talk to them and see what their response is. Normally, kids are pretty clear in knowing what they like and don’t like. But once you get into their memories, they are more vulnerable than you think.

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