Young children has become part of the consumer culture, this combined with the shortened childhood entails that the new large-scale consumers consist of children from the age of eight. Children’s consumption is a way of reflecting their identity by using brands due to the symbolic and visual expression. However, it is argued that children are not quite as focused on brands as the media and marketing companies have portrayed. Additionally, it is discussed whether it is girls or boys who spend the most on brands. In this thesis, we have exclusively examined boys between 11-14 years old resident in the province (Nyk. F.) and the big city (Kbh. Ø.), respectively. Our purpose was to examine how these boys perceive brands in order to achieve insight about which underlying factors that might have influence on them, and how they interact with reference groups. Based on the qualitative method and, hence, the limited data set, our examination is not representative. We have based our study on interviews with 30 boys in total; 10 boys participated in the pilot survey and 20 in the final study. We decided in the final study to include four product categories; clothing, shoes, fragrances and electronics. During the interviews, we used forms to avoid that the boys influenced each other’s brand awareness; however, as these forms did not provide information about the underlying brand attitudes and perceptions, we also used collages to collect data. Our analysis consists of four themes; the boys’ economy, the boys’ parents, the four product categories and, lastly, the boys’ reference groups. In order to put our results in perspective, the collected data have been analysed with theory to determine whether our results are in accordance with the selected theory. Subsequently, theory in relation to children and consumption is included, however, theory that is not specifically linked to children is also referred to due to its relevance to our research. In relation to our research and problem statement, we firstly conclude that all the boys in general have wide brand awareness in the four product categories. However, the boys living in the big city have slightly wider brand awareness than the boys’ resident in the province, although the difference is insignificant. Furthermore, we deduce that the brands/products the boys’ are aware of is in accordance with what the own/have. The primary influence that may alter the boys’ brand attitudes 3 and perceptions is the boys’ friends, classmates and friends from hobbies. These people are, to a greater extent, able to influence the boys. The secondary reference groups are parents and older siblings. Other factors that influence the boys are the combination of a brand’s price, quality, brand and function. We conclude that the boys’ brand awareness is formed by the interaction of a brand’s style, properties along with the symbolic and visual expression. We also conclude that part-time jobs do not increase the boys’ consumption neither in number nor in brands that are more expensive compared to boys’ without a part-time job and their consumption. In general, we conclude that the boys are more focussed on an individual style rather that the brand itself. The boys’ are interested in products that reflect their style and personality, as through consumption they are able to signal identity and which groups they belong or wish to belong to. All the above mentioned indicates that the boys’ brand attitudes and awareness are complex.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||124|