Research 3: Little Miss Understood – Report

Posted on: Friday 03 July 2015 6:22am by Jelena Stosic


  • Celebrate who they are, not who they feel they have to be.
  • If still in doubt, ask: “What would Taylor, do?” (Taylor Swift, of course)
  • When engaging girls, help them have fun, be confident, be their true selves – and forget some of the most-used formulae, such as using celebrities or presenting them with an up-aged version of themselves.

Session details

The Pineapple Lounge carried out a four part study, involving 12 hang-outs at home, 1,000 interviews, 20 parent consultations and a discussion within an online community.

Ben Frost and Pete Maginn, the Associate Director and the Head of Research at The Pineapple Lounge, shared fascinating insights about the lives of modern day tween girls or, as they call them, the Little Miss Understood. In the world where technology makes almost everything seem possible, where Beyonce owns the stage and Katniss Everdeen rocks – girls have changed, too.

Ben and Pete challenged all of us, marketers, broadcasters, researchers and brands to better engage this audience and then, rather helpfully, offered some findings on how it can be done.

Overall, Ben urged us to get over the obsession of up-aging young girls, and instead look deeper into who they are right now… because who they are is very exciting. For example:

  • 7/10 feel equal to boys. Most don’t feel that being a girl is holding them back in any respect.
  • On the whole, they feel good about life and happy about the future.
    69% feel they can achieve anything they put their mind too.
  • Their role models combine femininity with strength and empowerment. This research has shown that modern girls appreciate talent and authenticity over aesthetic. Zoella is twice as likely as Miley Cyrus to be a role model.
  • When asked which characters they would want to be, the most popular responses were Katniss, Hermione, Matilda and Tinkerbell. These heroes are strong, talented, quite sassy at times. They are well-intentioned, but not flawless or silly and helpless. This is how a modern girl feels, and how she wants to be seen, too.
  • They like to have fun, which is something brands often overlook or tokenise. However, 93% of girls selected “have fun and laugh” as the reason for doing one of their favourite activities.

How to engage Little Miss Understood

Taking all the findings into account, The Pineapple Lounge team identified five main strategies for engaging modern girls:

  • Partner with her to make the world better, more human
  • Be her number 1 fan, champion her and what she is great at
  • Be her playground for fun, and provide content to satisfy her diverse interests
  • Make her popular by providing her content she can use as social currency
  • Ditch reality, champion fantasy and give her an art box in which she can create

Full speaker details are available here, and The Pineapple Lounge team (@TPLresearch on Twitter) are happy to answer questions.

Event Reports

Jelena Stosic

About the author

Jelena Stosic

The Little Big Partnership, Associate

Jelena is an Associate at The Little Big Partnership, a marketing consultancy focused on engaging children and family audiences. She has been working on audience research and analysis for over five years, bringing her insights to clients such as Xbox, Oxfam, Tottenham Hotspur, Unilever and The Little White Company. Jelena… Read more