Parents Choose Products for Christmas, not Brand Names
Parents are expected to uphold the Santa Claus myth. Many parents feel this responsibility and give Christmas gifts to strengthen the parent-child relationship. But how do parents decide what to give? A study in the Journal of Consumer Marketing shows that parents select Christmas gifts by product type, not brand name.
- Parents think giving specific products to children at Christmas, like dolls, clothes or bikes, is more important than giving certain brands.
- Parents consider Christmas gifts in terms of product category rather than brand name.
- Parents prefer traditional Christmas gifts such as teddy bears, dolls, trains, and soldiers.
- Children request gifts on their wish lists (and often ask for brands), but parents give those they think are most appropriate. This is often an alternative to the brand requested.
- Never underestimate the power of the parent when marketing to kids, even when it’s Christmas time.
Do parents find giving certain brands to children at Christmas just as important as giving certain products?
450 parents with at least one child between the ages of 3 and 8 years old
South East Queensland, Australia
In November, five primary schools and seven kindergartens supported the research by sending questionnaires to parents. About one-sixth of the parents filled out the questionnaire, answering questions about their considerations when buying presents for their children at Christmas.
Facts and findings
- Parents found giving gifts to their children at Christmas very important, but not giving specific popular brands as gifts.
- This means that parents choose gifts by product category first and then choose the brand.
- Parents preferred traditional Christmas gifts such as teddy bears, dolls, trains, and soldiers.
- Parents gave those gifts they considered most appropriate. This was often an alternative to the gift requested by the child.
- An explanation for these findings could be that parents don’t like the commercial side of Christmas and therefore look at specific products rather than popular advertised brands.
- Tip! The original article contains an executive summary, discussing implications for managers and executives (see link on the right side).