A Better Understanding of Children's Market: Fuzzy Logic to Analyse the Antecedents of a Living Brand

A Better Understanding of Children's Market: Fuzzy Logic to Analyse the Antecedents of a Living Brand

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0993-6.ch005
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Back in Chapter 4, we propose a model which attempts to encapsulate the antecedents of a brand relationship and subsequently its influence towards brand loyalty. The findings suggest that brand personality, brand trust, and brand salience are important antecedents to create a brand relationship in the children's market. Meanwhile, brand loyalty was identified as the consequence of a brand relationship, autobiographical memory, and habituation. In this chapter, we are going to expand this discussion by measuring variables concerning future anticipation, ritual, autobiographical memory, and living brand using fuzzy logic on children within the 10-12 years old age group who are assumed to be mature enough to understand and reply to simple direct questions. Ultimately, we would like to see whether the two constructs of future anticipation and ritual are (among) the antecedents of a living brand.
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The children’s market is an important one both in the advanced and developing countries, and as such represents a substantial research opportunity for marketers. Whilst the value of this market for products and services equals approximately 51.8 billion USD in America, it is also significant in the developing world, and in 2013, in Indonesia for example, the market was estimated at being worth approximately 120 billion USD (Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics, 2011).

One important feature of this market is that whilst the purchasers themselves do not spend their own money, they can, nonetheless, hold high purchasing power through the support of parents and other relatives, and as noted by Yusuf (2007), the market is both large and capable of promotion. There is also the strong possibility that once a child has latched on to a particular brand or product, s/he develops a strong emotional attachment to that, and hence, there is a greater chance of securing customer loyalty. Indeed, that child might as well become an ambassador, persuading friends of the value of such a brand/product, thereby acting as a promotional tool in him/herself.

Within the children’s market, three distinct segments have been identified by McNeal (1992), who perceives these to be the primary market, the influence market, and the future market. In the case of the primary market, this targets children as end users; it makes its appeal to parents, people involved with children, and children themselves; the future market on the other hand, targets children as a potential market in time to come.

In our study, we consider children between 10 and 12 years old. Erickson (1950) classified this group as being of school age. At this particular age, children are generally familiar with their social obligations and tend to behave properly. In moral terms, they have developed such that they are able to distinguish between good and bad, and can recognize differences among peoples and cultures. According to Acuff and Reiher (1997), children within this age range are at the start of their brain neuron development. This is considered as a crucial stage in the development of children’s capability to perceive their environment and to adjust their own thoughts and behaviour so that they themselves are able to fit into that environment. At this point, they are susceptible to influence from role models for example, teachers, parents, spiritual leaders, celebrities, and sporting figures, and such susceptibility means they can be very easily impressed. At the same time, they are also considered to be sufficiently mature to understand simple questions that are asked of them, and to give answers, meaning that they are capable of participating in research.

Additionally, as noted by Acuff and Reiher (1997), children of this age bracket have the ability to remember previous events and to take such memories with them into adulthood, suggesting that marketers need to create positive feelings towards their products within this age range if they are seriously wanting to retain loyal customers in the future. This particular behaviour occurs through a shift in the dominance of the right brain to the left brain. So, at this age, as observed by Lindstorm and Seybold (2007), children are indeed capable of reasoning, and can provide an explanation for all of their actions, good or bad. Consequently, children in this age group (10-12 years) form the research sample for the study reported in this chapter.

Clearly, this age range is an important market segment and, therefore, research on children is very important. How they influence their parents, and the features in which companies could build a living brand within the children’s autobiographical memory, is essential. Other interesting dimensions are the marketing strategies adopted by service providers, and other sources of appeal to children as customers. These are the areas of intelligence that are required in order to determine how future anticipation could be done by company in the children’s market.

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