Study Examines What Drives Apparel Purchasing for Children under Age 10

According to a new study by leading marketing information provider The NPD Group, nearly nine out of 10 mothers with children ages six to 10 said the child influences what clothing is purchased for them.

Even mothers of children two years and under report that they are influenced by what their child asks for almost half of the time. Findings are based on a survey of more than 2,519 mothers with children 10 years old and under and reported in The NPD Childrenswear Licensing Report.

NPD found that kids' requests are substantially more influential than advertising is in mothers' purchasing decisions. Seventy-one percent of mothers said that their child's wishes are very influential in deciding what to buy. By contrast, only 37% are influenced by magazine or newspaper ads. The influence of all forms of media vehicles ranked relatively low. And a surprising 75% of mothers agreed that seeing clothing endorsed by a trusted athlete or celebrity is not a key factor in their purchasing decisions, in spite of the amount of money companies invest in celebrity endorsements.

"Our study shows that even the youngest kids recognize and respond to brands and licenses, and by the time they are ten years old, they're wielding considerable influence," commented NPD Childrenswear Account Executive Robyn Teplansky. "Marketers seeking to build equity for their brands and licenses need to take this into account. Marketing plans should be geared toward both mothers and their children, particularly for the older age segment."

Building brand recognition with kids could compensate for mothers' tendency to buy on price, the study suggests. Ninety percent of mothers reported that when it comes to shopping for children's clothing, they always try to buy the merchandise on sale. Less than 20% said they know what brand they'll buy before they go to the store. Nevertheless, the majority of those surveyed said they do believe some brands are superior to others.

Favorite Brands and Licenses

As reported by Mothers of Children Ages 10 and Under

1. OshKosh B'Gosh
2. Old Navy
3. Disney
4. Gap Kids
5. Levi's
6. Basic Editions
7. Carter's
8. Arizona
9. Winnie the Pooh / Tigger
10. Garanimals

Mothers' Favorite Brands / Licenses By Age of Children

2 and Under Ages 3 to 5 Ages 6 to 10
1. OshKosh B'Gosh 1. OshKosh B'Gosh 1. Levi's
2. Gap Kids/Baby Gap 2. Disney 2. Arizona
3. Carter's 3. Levi's 3. Basic Editions
4. Old Navy 4. Old Navy 4. Old Navy
5. Disney 5. Gap Kids/Baby Gap 5. Hanes
6. Garanimals 6. Basic Editions 6. Fruit of the Loom
7. Winnie the Pooh/Tigger 7. Garanimals 7. Disney
8. Gymboree 8. Winnie the Pooh/Tigger 8. Nike
9. Health-tex 9. Hanes 9. Honors
10. Children's Place 10. Arizona 10. Lee

About The Study

The NPD Childrenswear Licensing Report is based on information collected in an online survey conducted in February 2000 among a nationally balanced sample of women with children age 10 and under. Respondents were selected from NPD's Online Panel, a prerecruited sample of consumers who have agreed to participate in research. A total of 2,519 women completed the survey. Additional information for the report was taken from NPD's American Shoppers Panel. The NPD American Shoppers Panel has operated since 1977 and currently consists of 16,000 households nationwide. The panel is constructed to reflect the behavior of the U.S. consuming public.

About The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group is an international marketing information company headquartered in Port Washington, NY. Founded in 1953, the firm specializes in providing insight into consumer purchasing and behavior via both Internet-based and traditional research methodologies, including online and offline consumer panels and retail panels supplying point-of-sale tracking data.

NPD offers proprietary databases and research expertise in more than 20 industries, including apparel, automotive products, consumer electronics, cosmetics and fragrances, financial services, food, foodservice, footwear, housewares, information technology, interactive entertainment, new media, pharmaceuticals, toys, and more. The firm also offers a full range of analytical tools for ad hoc research. NPD is the developer of the revolutionary Web audience measurement technology now marketed by its successful spin-off Media Metrix, Inc. NPD has offices and affiliations in 36 countries, covering North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.