Russian kids and the West: So far, so close

Anna Demianova
Point-Blank International, Germany
Julia Yuzbasheva
ValidataKIDS, Russian Federation

Introduction

In many ways, Russian kids seem very similar to their Western peers. They are subject to the same global trends; they are experts in digital gadgets, use the Internet, and listen to Justin Bieber. They even might say "hey" instead of "privet". But a deeper look reveals that there are still profound differences any Western brand hoping to win the hearts of Russian kids and mums will need to consider. Russian kids may be exposed to global trends, but still these trends fall upon a different cultural soil. So where does that leave Russian kids? Are they so far, or so close?

Since its market introduction in 2001, Danone's kids' dairy brand Rastishka – known in other markets as Danonino, Petit Gervais or Fruchtzwerge – has faced the challenge of translating global strategy to meet the needs of Russian children and their families. These needs are fast-changing; leaving not just Danone but any international player in a complex position vis-à-vis the children to whom they are trying to market. Since 2004, Moscow-based research agency ValidataKIDS has kept its ear on the pulse of Russian social change for Rastishka, helping the brand fine-tune its strategies to the cultural specificity of Russian kids.