Exuberant "branding guru" Martin Lindstrom takes the topic of how children 8 -12 relate to brands as his latest topic: "Brand Savvy Tweens in Action!"
Now, the word "Tweens" has always disturbed me - what is it exactly that these youngsters are (be)Tween? The devil and the deep blue sea, perhaps? If it means between child and teenager, I'm quite happy for my son to remain in the child bracket until he's at least 12, thank you!
On Martin Lindstrom's website, you can view excerpts from a focus group where the youngsters recognise brands from sounds, smells or parts of logos. To be honest, I find this hardly surprising - wasn't it ever thus? My son recognised the McDonalds golden arches before he could read (luckily his Pavlovian response was always a disgusted "eerrgghh!") and before him, I remember long car journeys from my childhood livened up by spotting National Benzole and Esso petrol stations and even making up little jingles about them. And I'm sure that my father and grandfather were more than familiar with brand names of yore from classic posters or enamel signs.
And I have nothing against my son recognising, probably faster than I do, logos for Lego, Disney, Nike or Kellogg's. The only point at which I think Europeans still diverge slightly from the US is in the arena of fashion brands. My son doesn't have a clue what Abercrombie & Fitch is, for which I am grateful. Maybe it's because I'm not mad on that sort of brand myself. But if you've been dressing your "little princess" in Dolce & Gabbana or your "little man" in Tommy Hilfiger from the age of 2, then you probably have only yourself to blame if your "tweens" are "over-savvy" about brands.