Nearly half (48%) of U.S. tweens and teens (ages 8-15) say they’ve seen something on YouTube they want to buy according to KidSay’s Mid-Year Trend Tracker. That’s a lot of kids consciously naming YouTube as a source of product discovery and increase in purchase intent. When you factor in how the subconscious mind works, YouTube has an even greater impact on what kids ‘want’. YouTube celebs are taking their growing cachet with kids to the bank by offering merchandise featuring their likeness.
Digging into the open-ended responses of the things kids have seen on YouTube that they want to buy uncovers several mentions of merchandise that is directly connected, in one way or another, to the YouTube channels and personalities resonating most with kids. These responses reveal that kids aren’t only interested in the brands and products YouTubers use – they are interested in their brand! YouTube celebs are taking their growing cachet with kids to the bank by offering merchandise featuring their likeness.
YouTube celebs convey that they are approachable, relatable, and in many ways, represent who kids aspire to be. The identity bridge YouTube personalities create is made easier because the wide array of YouTube’s channels allows for great content specialization. By reaching kids on their level, being ‘just for me’, YouTube and its personalities have become a force to connect straight to the hearts of kids.
Thus, it makes perfect sense that the most popular YouTube characters and celebrities are also the ones kids easily identify with and in turn will identify themselves by. An example: Trixin, the clothing brand recently launched by YouTube celeb Shay Carl. The brand has gained the attention of a number of kids in the west, naming the brand both as the item they’ve seen on YouTube and purchased, and as their favorite brand of clothes. (Note: Shay Carl has a number of YouTube channels focused on different aspects of family life. SHAYTARDS, his family video blog (vlog) channel is the #3 favorite channel of tween girls who subscribe to YouTube channels.)
YouTube celebs are the ‘rock stars of today’, the ones kids connect with to both formulate their own identity and broadcast that identity to the world.
The implications are broad, but from a product development standpoint this trend indicates a field of marketable properties and personalities seeded for growth.