Beano Brain, the award-winning specialist kids and family insights agency from Beano Studios, has this week revealed what the coolest brands are for the UK’s 7-14 year-olds.
Born from decades of experience with kids, Beano Brain helps companies build their own connections with families using its unparalleled knowledge of Gen Alpha, Gen Z and their Millennial parents.
Beano Brain’s bespoke consulting solutions help brands stay ahead of trends and prepare for the future by using the power of big data and pairing millions of proprietary data points with rich, qualitative panels.
YouTube is number one in the 50 Coolest Brands for Kids & Teens with Netflix, McDonald’s, Amazon and Disney making up the rest of the top 5 according to the survey of 30,000 7-14 year olds.
This is the first year the survey has been carried out but it will be repeated annually to help brands understand how to interact with young people and their families.
There were some notable gender differences, with social brands such as TikTok firmly in the top 10 for girls and gaming brands Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox featuring in the top 10 for boys.
There are no UK brands in the top 10. The highest rating UK brands are: Harry Potter (11), Costa Coffee (32), BBC (42), Sports Direct (45), JD Sports (46), Times Table Rock Stars (48), and Argos (49).
The Beano Brain team spent a year talking to kids and teens about their likes and dislikes and observing the brands kids are wearing, chatting about and coveting, before testing their findings with the Beano Brain omnibus panel of 30,000 youngsters.
The 50 Coolest Brands come from a variety of sectors spanning gaming, social media, retail, entertainment, hospitality and more, and reflect Gen Alpha’s increasing levels of discernment and their desire to interact both online and offline.
According to Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insight, Beano Brain, Generation Alpha (those born in or after 2010) have both high expectations and benchmarks for the brands they have in their lives.
They expect depth and breadth of content, full integration across multiple platforms and next day delivery as standard. They also expect to see a sense of guardianship of the planet and giving back alongside innovation and safety protocols.
To really stand out for youngsters – and make it into the 50 Coolest Brands ranking – brands need to help Generation Alpha ‘fit in’, yet also express their individuality.
Brands score highly if they embrace and listen to their creator communities, helping them build autonomy and independence while respecting their intelligence by not talking down to them. Kids like brands that allow them to discover safely without skills barriers, give them a sense of aspiration and let them succeed quickly and then build expertise. Brands that allow shared experiences with family or friends are also valued.
Helenor said: “YouTube is the No.1 Cool Brand; the reigning king of the social media world and the go-to place for kids looking for expert advice. It has a winning formula of being perceived as friendlier and safer than other platforms.
“If kids want to learn how to do something, they turn to YouTube – the expert they know and trust – and it’s this that allows the platform to stand firm against the onslaught of TikTok.”
She added: “So often we forget that increasingly kids and young people are navigating their way through a world designed by and around adults. Brands that make them feel safe, welcomed and valued stand out for Gen Alpha, and with this generation’s predisposition for nostalgia and a mix of old and new, this suggests that those brands who get the balance right now will be nurturing lifelong fans.”
Beano Brain Managing Director of Commercial Insight, Pete Maginn, added: “There are two questions that I am repeatedly asked by clients: ‘which brands do kids really love at the moment?’ and ‘what can we learn about these brands to make our own as appealing and successful?’.
“The 50 Coolest Brands answers the first question with its mix of expected brands – YouTube, Disney, LEGO etc – up next to perhaps surprising entrants like Apple, Starbucks and WhatsApp, which undoubtedly play an important part in Gen Alpha’s lives and are well liked.
“In answer to the second question, Beano Brain has identified the criteria that drive brand love from kids and have brought these to life with robust data directly from kids, rather than filtered by parents.
“It’s crucial for business stakeholders, no matter how senior, to listen and see what kids truly like, do and say in order to make smart, informed decisions.”
More information on the brands and a free copy of the Top 50 Coolest Brands book can be requested at beanobrain.com