Netflix is number one in the 100 Coolest Brands for Kids & Teens according to a study of 60,000 youngsters unveiled today by Beano Brain, a specialist kids and family insights agency.
This second edition of Beano Brain’s annual Coolest Brands Report saw the streaming service overtake YouTube – which came top in 2022.
McDonalds, Nike and new entry Oreo make up the rest of the Top 5 according to a year-long study including in-depth observational analysis and face-to-face interviews of 7–14 year-olds.
There are no UK brands in the Top 10. The highest rating UK brands are: Harry Potter (32 down from 11), Greggs (new entry at 34), Sports Direct (40 up from 45) and JD Sports (47 down from 46).
The BBC is the biggest faller dropping twenty-eight places from 43 to 71, and Minecraft dropped twenty-two places to 28, having failed to maintain the buzz outside of its superfans. (Minecraft does still rank at 11 for boys).
Amazon (15 down from 4), Minecraft (28 down from 6) and Apple (11 down from 8) all drop out of the Top 10.
After a year of headlines, shortages, queues and endless publicity, one of the most hyped brands of the year, the energy drink PRIME by KSI and Logan Paul only managed to rank at 82.
Beano Brain 100 Coolest Brands 2023 Top 10
|2023 Rank||Brands (2022 ranking in bracket)|
|5||Oreo (new entry)|
|7||Pringles (new entry)|
|10||Coca Cola (new entry)|
The Beano Brain team spent a year talking to kids and teens aged 7 – 14 (Generation Alpha) about their likes and dislikes and observing the brands kids are wearing, chatting about and coveting, before testing their findings with the Beano Brain omnibus panel.
And this year kids have brands on their brains, spontaneously talking about more brands than last year, leading the report to double in size from 50 Coolest Brands in 2022 to 100 Coolest Brands in 2023.
According to Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insight, Beano Brain, Generation Alpha is increasingly discerning – a hugely creative generation of digital masters and critical consumers with expectations and benchmarks which are often higher than those of adults.
They expect depth and breadth of content – with continuous updates, spin-offs and new products – content availability on demand, full integration across platforms and speed – be that super-fast broadband or same-day delivery.
They may not all be full–Greta, but saving the planet is one of their most important issues alongside kindness being cool and an expectation that brands should give something back. They are also digital savvy and switched-on when it comes to safety online.
2023’s Top 10 heavily features brands that lean into experiences and special moments and to really stand out for youngsters the ‘coolest brands’ must capture kids’ hearts and minds, create a sense of occasion with either friends and family or in simple daily pleasures or for key life moments such as ‘back to school’.
Gen Alpha are also primed to celebrate brand collaborations and embrace brands that are brave when it comes championing diversity or helping them navigate life stages such as puberty.
Explaining the secrets to Netflix’s success, Helenor Gilmour said: “Netflix reigns supreme as the king of the streaming services. Its ever-changing catalogue means kids feel it’s impossible to tire of the streaming platform.
“There is something for everyone and every mood and it opens a door for kids to explore the world beyond their doorstep. They can discover captivating content from across the globe and feed their desire for darker themes with shows like the hugely popular Wednesday and Stranger Things series, which provided universal thrills for kids and adults alike, with a feel-good side of nostalgia for the latter.”
Gilmour added: “Netflix is number one at meeting Gen Alpha’s needs from a brand when it comes to having a clear and salient proposition, the ability to create a sense of occasion to share with family and friends and exposure to interesting collaborations and edgy, sometimes dark, content that helps them explore the socio-economic landscapes and shape their opinions within a safe space.”
Outside of Netflix, brands that manage to resonate across Gen Alpha’s ‘coolest brand’ criteria rank highly and will be nurturing potential lifelong fans.
Gilmour said: “Kids love brands with salience and a clear proposition. It’s why Nike (Just Do It!) is cooler than Adidas and why Pringles, with their mouth-pleasing texture and shape are cooler than Walkers.
“Kids love a sense of occasion from Apple releases to the ritual of Oreo dunking and they love sharing these with their families. Brands that are there at key life moments will rank highly for cool. McDonalds scored well for their FIFA World Cup promotions and Fun Football Centres while Nike is King when it’s back to school.
“Gen Alphas are the original YouTube generation raised on influencer collaborations, and so their discovery and loyalty are often driven by collaborations such as Nike Chunky Dunkys in collaboration with Ben & Jerry’s.
“And let’s not forget, Gen Alpha are still finding their way and shaping their own opinions, and they really get behind brands that are brave such as Disney tackling puberty in the movie Red or championing diversity in the live action Little Mermaid.”
Beano Brain Managing Director of Commercial Insight, Pete Maginn, said that brands that want to resonate with kids and parents alike, and build brand loyalty across the years and generations, should take note of the 100 Coolest Brands rankings.
He said: “By talking directly with the kids and not going through the parental filter, Beano Brain’s 100 Coolest Brands is a genuine snapshot of what kids love and, perhaps more importantly, why they love them.
“This is a unique opportunity to see what kids truly love and how brands integrate into their daily lives and will help inform smart business decisions.”
Download a free mini report at beanobrain.com