Our latest research published Spielwarenmesse looks at the top favourite toys & products most anticipated for kids leading up to Christmas in the new normal.
Today’s children are like no other generation. They are constantly connected to unlimited information from around the world, and as a result have a far greater awareness of global issues and trends, at a critical part of their life as their attitudes, behaviour and consumption are forming and developing.
All aspects of everyday life have been altered due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the holiday season will be no different. Travel restrictions will mean that families may have to celebrate in separate households, while changes to household income as a result of furlough schemes and job losses will affect spending power for presents. However, as so much of the calendar’s major events and celebrations have been written off, there will be more household purchasing power put into Christmas proportionally than previous years. Additionally, some households will start preparing for the holiday season as early as September.
But in the UK, some parents are still undecided about how they feel about Christmas; some feel that they want to celebrate more to make up for the hardships they have faced this year (41%), with a further 41% agreeing that life is too short to worry about money, and 26% agreeing that they will spend more money this Christmas season. Others however are worried about their future income, feeling a bit more cautious about the longer-term implications the threat of recession may have on their family, over four in 10 are worried that they won’t be able to afford presents this year (41%). However, this will not change kids across Europe wanting the latest toys this holiday season. This generation of kids want to engage in personalised experiences rather than passively consume, so the products at the top of their wish lists will reflect this.
For a lot of kids, they will be looking forward to the next generation of consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Across Europe, an average of 38% of 8-12-year olds own a console, with only Germany under-indexing at 28%. Of these kids, the most popular console is a variation of the PlayStation 4, with over a quarter of kids in the EU5 preferring Sony’s offering over Microsoft. Germany is again the exception, where PS4 ownership amongst 8-12-year olds sits at 15%. Lock-in factors means that we are likely to see kids put the latest iteration from their preferred brand at the top of their wish lists this holiday season. While it exists in the same market, Nintendo’s Switch is not directly in competition with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Nintendo don’t compete directly with Sony and Microsoft in the sale of yearly franchise releases such as Call of Duty, instead opting to produce an extensive library of exclusive releases based on their iconic characters. One of the most successful titles throughout lockdown, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is centred around creating and customising a unique experience for the user. The game caused overwhelming demand, causing the Switch to sell out across Europe. Kids who missed out on one this summer will have it at the top of their Christmas list, with the Switch ranking in the top 10 most wanted toys for 8-12-year olds across the EU5. In France, the Switch is the console with the highest market share of this age bracket (25%). The launch of the Nintendo Switch Lite offers the product with limited functionality at a cheaper price point, a price discrimination strategy that will allow them to capture the market share for lower income households and those who have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.
For younger kids, LEGO products will be at the top of many wish lists. For 3-7-year olds, the construction toy came out on top across the EU5 when asked what new toy they would like to own, with the exception of France. LEGO has continually innovated in order to meet the kids ever-changing demands, expanding its product and collaborations to span a plethora of interests. The LEGO Super Mario collection is a perfect example of the company’s commitment to innovation, in which kids build levels for Mario to traverse and collect coins. This appeals to this generation of kids desire to co-create personalised, engaging, interactive experiences which will be key aspects of a lot of items found in kids wish lists this holiday season.
As the holidays approach amidst unprecedented circumstances, the companies that will succeed most will be the ones with the agility to adapt. As the influence of the high street wanes, direct-to-consumer models will grow in popularity with the overall development of e-commerce. Consumers are also looking to shop locally and sustainably, as lockdown gave people the opportunity to reflect on their impact on the environment. Finally, branded masks will surely be popular stocking stuffers as they become essential outfit staples.
We are working with our clients to help them define and understand their audiences, plan their Christmas product and media campaigns, as well as tracking, measuring, and evaluating their campaigns through our Brand Uplift solution.
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