According to recent statistics published on Marketing Week, brands that aim to engage young girls are resorting to old stereotypes and may in fact be putting off a large proportion of their target audience from buying from them. Research has found that young girls tend to prefer brands that empower them and encourage them to define who they are – including if ‘who they are’ doesn’t necessarily match up to stereotypes of what girls should and shouldn’t like.
It has been found that 27% of girls aged between eight and ten dislike princesses and pink things, and the same can be said for 38% of 11-12 year olds and 39% of girls aged 13-14. Similarly, 41% of girls are interested in celebrities but 59% are interested in video games. Two-fifths of girls prefer Olympic athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill as a role model over Miley Cyrus, who was chosen as a role model by only 7% of the girls questioned.
The Pineapple Lounge, a research agency dedicated to understanding children and teenagers, questioned 1,070 girls between the ages of eight and 14 and discovered that the most effective way brands can work with them is to treat them as individuals and not a gendered stereotype.
Emma Worrollo, the managing director of The Pineapple Lounge, pointed out that “some industries can become quite complacent when it comes to targeting and marketing to girls and go for the lowest common denominator, like pink, glitz and the allure of fame.” The report (called ‘Little Miss Understood’) shows that there are a number of other things marketers can draw on to attract this demographic.
The most attractive brands were those that allowed girls to be themselves, as stated by 44% of the girls questioned; brands that gave them confidence, listed by 39% of girls; and brands that asked for their opinion, stated by 38%.