There's nothing like Mother's loyalty - or is there?
Companies seeking to market products to and build loyalty among expectant mothers face a unique set of challenges, with most doing their research before their third trimester and being most responsive to marketing messages early in their pregnancy, according to research by pregnancy guide Emma's Diary and its publisher, Lifecycle Marketing.
The study found that mothers-to-be prefer products that are made available to 'try and buy' in-store, presented along with good supporting information and advice.
Almost three quarters of mothers with a child aged 0-6 months asserted that, once they have found a brand they like, change is unlikely, with 68% of that group saying that the relationship they have with baby brands is different from their relationship with non-baby brands.
In fact, 92% of mothers with a child aged 0-6 months said that if they enjoy a good baby-brand relationship then they will remain loyal to that brand.
At the same time, 63% recognised that the relationship with baby brands is different to other purchases because it is more important to get the right brand first time around. Almost all (95%) said they enjoy looking for and deciding on which baby products to buy.
Mothers with babies aged 0-6 months said they begin to look for information about baby products when 3.7 months pregnant, on average, with 60% of them doing so online and only 27% actually visiting a high street store for research purposes.
However, the percentages in the buying process reverse almost completely with only 23% buying online and 65% opting for the high street. This process takes place on average when the mother is 5.4 months pregnant.
More than half of those surveyed said it was very important to spend time on brand decisions, and that they do give research significant time. Nearly three quarters (72%) of the group said they gather information from multiple sources before buying.
Key brand contact points for those who are pregnant are mainly friends with children (72%), high street retailers (67%) and online retailers (59%). Friends with children (23%) are also high on a list of responses as the main source for product information.
Perceived brand strength is also vital in the decision making process, with independent sources (22%) being the main deciding factor when choosing from a range of baby products. Interestingly, price is a factor for only a very small percentage of mothers.