This month, we celebrated the amazing mothers in our lives and not long before that International Women’s Day.  So, with women at the forefront of our minds we look at the strength of their influence for brands.  Before we continue there is no denying that Dads too have an important role to play and one that we are well aware of but for this piece it is all about Mum!

So, why is it so important for brands to connect with this audience and what drives Mum when it comes to making purchases for their children?

First, understanding their influence power is key, and with 60% of UK adults still considering their Mum as their best friend it is no surprise they have an important role to play! When it comes to shopping, Mum is influencing decisions, even in our adult lives with half of adults still relying on their mum’s opinion when making important purchases and a third of adults being recommended new products by their Mum.

Whilst they have great influence in our adult lives when it comes to the purchases we make, Mums also act as gatekeepers to products in our early years.  For brands making products for children it is vital to understand what really matters to Mum and what motivates her purchase decisions.

At Giraffe Insights we regularly speak with parents to understand what makes them tick and as part of this Mum plays a dominant role.  So, what have we learned about Mum and what motivates her when it comes to purchases for her child?

We have identified 5 key shopping archetypes:

  • The Learning Obsessed – Mums who are driven by developing their kids creativity and skillsets via play
  • The Entertainers – Those who seek products with high entertainment value that will keeps their kids occupied
  • The Environmentally Conscious – These are mothers who prefer to shop ethically and prefer products that are sustainable
  • The Value Seekers – Mums who want to get the most out of each purchase and appreciate longevity of toys
  • The Tech Savvy – These are Mums who embrace technology and understand it is key for kids to be tech-literate

Although most Mums fall into one of the above categories, there are core motivators which transcend all of these. The key drivers for toy purchases in particular are value for money, entertainment and stimulating creativity. Finding a product which their child loves, can provide an educational moment and be played with again and again are the winning formula in Mums eyes. Longevity and education coupled with entertainment have been trends we have been tracking for some time, to the point where they are now essential needs. When it comes to toys those that have additional accessories, facilitate roleplay and provide a narrative for play experiences are more likely to appeal to Mums of younger children.

Not only is it important for brands and products to elevate their offerings and evolve to meet Mums needs, but communicating the right messages that resonate with this audience is also a must.

Speaking to Mums of kids aged 12 and under, we have identified key messages that Mums have told us they want to hear from brands and these center around their kids development and physical health:

Which brand messages are the most important for you to hear as a parent?:

Mum has and always will be a key influencer for brands both in our adult lives and for purchases made for younger children.  Identifying what it is that Mums are looking for and communicating these in a way that resonates most highly is key for success.  Brands need to remember that Mum is certainly not the word when it comes to their experiences with brands and products and that whilst communicating key features of desirability in a product is key, not living up to these claims and meeting expectations is the biggest mistake brands can make for Mum!

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