The aim of the article is to examine children's role in family purchase decision making with a particular focus on how much impact children are perceived to have and in what ways children impact family decision making concerning holidays.
Information was gathered from 26 in‐depth interviews with parents and children, telephone interviews with 800 Danish and 1,200 Germans, and questionnaires from 200 Danish and 200 German children.
Results show that parents perceive children to have moderate impact on decision making. Children, on the contrary, think they have quite a high level of impact. Parents perceive themselves to have the decisive vote, but in this “decisive vote” parents take children's manifestations and prior experiences with the children into account. Children do have significant impact in various ways through a broad array of techniques, directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously. Children vocalise their wishes, and parents are often attentive and co‐operative.
Other cultural settings than northern European would have been interesting to add to the analysis.
The significant influence of children not just in the buying situation, but also as a strong indirect factor is of interest when considering marketing actions.
The contribution of the article is insight into the discussions going on in families with viewpoints from both parents and children by the use of both qualitative and quantitative data. No previous works have integrated data of parents and children combining both qualitative and quantitative approaches.
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