Hello Kitty has a strong legacy as an ‘iconic’ brand that is known to virtually everyone across the globe. However, whilst well known, interest in the brand was waning and its current relevance in the lives of children needed exploring in much more detail.
KI was approached by Sanrio to help them make sense of the current size and shape of Hello Kitty fandom with young European girls, and ultimately, what could be done to create excitement around the brand, its merchandise and content.
The first stage of our research involved deep diving into the current Hello Kitty offering, heavily considering the perspective of a young European audience. This consisted of a full 360 exploration of the brand – examining available touch points, the brand’s narrative, characters, dimensions and sensorial cues.
But to truly understand the current state of Hello Kitty fandom we needed to cast our net wider with our own primary research. KI launched a survey in five European markets (UK, France, Italy, Germany & Spain), exploring key measures such as awareness, affinity, brand associations, touchpoint engagement, and merchandise spend and desires – all in relation to a competitor set.
Focusing analysis through our Fandom Profiling Model helped KI pull together divergent data strands and highlight gaps in the brand’s current offering for girls across multiple age ranges and markets. Recommendations on how Hello Kitty can facilitate deeper engagement were provided, some centred around shifting their “touch point-free” awareness to a more frequent, narrative driven position.