Girls Becoming Fans Of Boy Brands

Ignoring Gender Norms, Many Brands Gaining With Girls Are "Boy Brands"

Nov 14, 2012, 09:08 ET from Smarty Pants, LLC

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Girls might be into pink, pop stars, and ponies, but some of the fastest growing brands among girls are those that might be considered boyish, according to Young Love™, the nation's largest study of brands among kids aged 6-12. The annual study, conducted by leading youth and family research firm, Smarty Pants, ranks kids' and moms' affinity for 250 brands each year. The study shows that girls are rapidly becoming fans of "boy brands" — from construction toys to superheroes to sports gear. 

"Today, girls comfortably hang an Under Armour shirt in their closet next to a Monster High tee without seeing contrast between the two, and they are quick to point out that LEGOs are just as much fun for girls as boys. They are drawn to the likes of Catwoman in the Batman franchise, and they see Best Buy as an invaluable tech hub as much as their male peers," says Smarty Pants president, Wynne Tyree.




Change in Kidfinity Points







Cartoon Network




Madden NFL


Hot Wheels


Best Buy


Under Armour





Source: Young Love 2011-2012; kids aged 6-12. © Smarty Pants.

Few parents discourage girls from adopting boy brands the way they might discourage boys from adopting girl brands. At the same time, younger girls see older girls ignoring gender expectations and adopting attitudes of being able to do anything boys can do. They aren't shy about showing their appreciation for the hobbies, products, and brands that boys favor.

In the case of LEGO, the brand's current girl surge is partially due to the new LEGO Friends line. The brand stirred up a slight controversy when it was first released because it referenced female stereotypes (play sets include a beauty salon and horse riding academy alongside an inventor's workshop and tree house). But the success of the line and the corresponding rise in Kidfinity™ for LEGO show that girls are clearly happy to have a construction-based toy line created specifically for them.

"All the boys in my class play with Beyblades during recess, and they look like they are having so much fun. Last time we went to Target, I told my Mom I wanted some. Now I have three that I battle with my brother. I keep telling my friends they should get some, too," says 8-year-old Isabella from Tennessee.

"From Cartoon Network to Beyblade to Under Armour, the trend is clear," Tyree adds. "As girls are saying yes to 'boy brands,' companies are getting serious about girls' buying power, and developing new products and lines that meet their unique needs. It's an exciting time."

The annual Young Love™ study is conducted online among a representative sample of U.S. households with children aged 6-12.  In 2012, a total of 250 consumer brands across 20 categories were evaluated as part of the three-month study of 4,600+ children and their parents.  Kidfinity™ scores are a composite measure on a scale of 0-1000 that factor in kids' brand awareness, love and popularity.

About Smarty Pants
Smarty Pants, LLC ( is a market research consultancy with offices in New York, San Diego, Chicago and Johnson City, Tenn. The firm conducts youth and parent research and guides marketers on brand positioning, new products and consumer trends.  


Melanie Shreffler 646-543-1043


SOURCE Smarty Pants, LLC