YouTube is number one in the 50 Coolest Brands for Kids & Teens unveiled by Beano Brain, the specialist kids and family insights agency.
Netflix, McDonald’s, Amazon and Disney make up the rest of the top 5 according to the survey of 30,000 7-14 year olds.
There were some notable gender differences, with social brands like TikTok firmly in the top 10 for girls and gaming brands Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox featuring in the top 10 for boys.
There are no UK brands in the top 10. The highest rating UK brands are: Harry Potter (11), Costa Coffee (32), BBC (42), Sports Direct (45), JD Sports (46), Times Table Rock Stars (48), and Argos (49).
The 50 Coolest Brands is the first of what will be an annual report to help brands understand how to interact with young people and their families. The Beano Brain team spent a year talking to kids and teens 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 of 30,000 youngsters.
The 50 Coolest Brands come from a variety of sectors spanning gaming, social media, retail, entertainment, hospitality and more, and reflect Gen Alpha’s increasing levels of discernment and their desire to interact both online and offline.
According to Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insight, Beano Brain, Generation Alpha (those born in or after 2010) have both high expectations and benchmarks for the brands they have in their lives.
Helenor Gilmour said: “YouTube is the No.1 Cool Brand; the reigning king of the social media world and the go-to place for kids looking for expert advice. It has a winning formula of being perceived as friendlier and safer than other platforms.
“If kids want to learn how to do something, they turn to YouTube – the expert they know and trust – and it’s this that allows the platform to stand firm against the onslaught of TikTok.”
She added: “So often we forget that increasingly kids and young people are navigating their way through a world designed by and around adults. Brands that make them feel safe, welcomed and valued stand out for Gen Alpha, and with this generation’s predisposition for nostalgia and a mix of old and new, this suggests that those brands who get the balance right now will be nurturing lifelong fans.”
The research findings suggest that to really stand out for youngsters – and make it into the 50 Coolest Brands ranking – brands need to help Generation Alpha ‘fit in’, yet also express their individuality.
Brands score highly if they embrace and listen to their creator communities, helping them build autonomy and independence while respecting their intelligence by not talking down to them. Kids like brands that allow them to discover safely without skills barriers, give them a sense of aspiration and let them succeed quickly and then build expertise. Brands that allow shared experiences with family or friends are also valued.
More information on the brands and a free copy of the Top 50 Coolest Brands book can be requested at beanobrain.com.