Mothers are an absolutely crucial target audience for CPG brands in 2019. Despite this, 56% of American moms feel marketers don’t understand them.

Our latest research into U.S. and Chinese moms reveals an overarching need for a more humanized brand-consumer relationship, based on a craving for trust, credibility and authenticity from brands.

Here are five brands that tapped into deep consumer research to create messages that truly resonate.

1. Hubbub and Mothercare

The message: Don’t keep your old baby clothes, use them to help others.

In 2017, environmental charity, Hubbub, partnered with UK baby and toddler retailer, Mothercare, to encourage people to declutter their homes and donate their outgrown baby clothes to local families.

Based on a survey of 2,000 parents, the brands found:

  • UK homes were crammed with 183 million items of outgrown baby clothing.
  • If all these items were redistributed, each baby born in the UK every year would get 250 items.
  • 7 in 10 parents still have baby clothes their children have outgrown.
  • A third of parents had thrown baby clothes in the garbage as they didn’t know what else to do with them.

In its first year, the campaign boasted more than 20,000 items of clothing being allocated to around 2,000 families. This success led to the campaign being extended in 2018, based on a scalable model aiming to redistribute 65,000 items to 6,500 families.

As our research shows, the importance of community among mothers is clear. It impacts everything from how they research and purchase to how they engage with technology.

An essential quality U.S. and Chinese mothers look for is openness and honesty, making authentic messaging an essential part of their favorite brands.

With this initiative, Mothercare shows mothers that not only do they have the products they need to care for their children – they care enough about the local community to try to improve it, and prove themselves as an authentic brand throughout.

2. Huggies

The message: All babies need and have a right to physical contact.

Huggies, a leading brand competing with CPG giants like Pampers, found that emotive marketing was the way to resonate with new parents.

Having uncovered the insight that hugs “help stabilize babies’ vital signs, build immune systems, ward off illness, and improve brain development,” the brand rolled out a campaign aimed at educating new mothers on the importance of skin-to-skin contact. It also ensured collaborating hospitals had volunteer ‘huggers’ available for babies in need of them.

And it rendered great results: Huggies’ sales soared 30% in the year of the campaign, and had an engagement rate 300% higher than industry benchmarks.

It proves the power of finding a social cause your target audience truly cares about, and cleverly inserting your brand in the right place.

3. Target

The message: Children have different needs that must be met.

Retail giant, Target, hit a home run when it looked to its partners and customers for insight into new product developments it wanted to see.

Mari Anderson, Technical Designer at Target, says, “Our team met with real kids to understand what their needs are in different types of apparel, then put our expertise to the test to create the products.”

The result: its line of sensory-friendly and flexible clothing, aimed at ensuring every child is comfortable in what they wear and parents are able to dress them easily.

“We learned that sensory-friendly apparel can mean different things for different people,” says Stacey Monsen, Design Director at Target.

“For these pieces, we decided to start with our core tees and leggings, and address guests’ most common requests—like removing tags and embellishments that can irritate the skin. We also added more ease through the hip and a higher rise in our leggings to fit with diapers, if needed, for older kids.”

It’s a great example of a brand focusing on an often-overlooked consumer base to ensure it’s catering to all its potential customers in a way that has both impact and usability.

4. Ella’s Kitchen

The message: Here’s how to give your children the best possible start in life.

Leading kids’ food brand, Ella’s Kitchen, has an important mission: “to improve childrens’ lives through developing healthy relationships with food.”

To do this, it launched its ongoing “Veg for Victory” campaign in 2016, aimed at encouraging parents to introduce a multitude of vegetables when weaning their little ones on to solid food.

The campaign was based on an independent literature review which revealed that “introducing a variety of vegetables during the early stages of weaning is associated with increased acceptance of these foods during the weaning period and into later childhood.”

With this knowledge at hand, the brand took inspiration from the WWII campaign “Dig for Victory” and used a character called Wean-ston Churchill to impart its message.

Along with an informative website aimed at teaching parents how to wean effectively, this multi-channel campaign cleverly blends research, humor and education to strike a chord with parents at a crucial stage of their child’s development.

5. Pampers

The message: Thank those who helped bring your child into the world.

Baby and toddler brand, Pampers, is keen on highlighting the crucial work midwives do every day, and give something back.

Having uncovered that while 80% of new mothers believe it’s important to thank their midwife, only 58% end up doing so, perhaps leading 1 in 3 midwives to feel undervalued, Pampers decided to raise awareness of the importance of gratitude.

The Pampers #ThankYouMidwife campaign aimed to thank the UK’s 40,000 midwives by pledging to donate £1 to the Royal College of Midwives Benevolent Fund for every thank you shared on social media.

By successfully identifying and getting involved with a social cause that truly matters to its core audience, the campaign was an instant success, delivering over 777m impressions and nearly 14k ‘thank yous’ in its first week alone.

For Christmas 2018, Pampers took the campaign one step further, collaborating with singer Paloma Faith and a newly-formed Pampers #ThankYouMidwife choir to produce a cover of the traditional song Silent Night.

Between 30th November 2018 and 18th January 2019, the brand pledged to donate £1 to the Royal College of Midwives Benevolent Fund for each download of the single. It also ran a simultaneous campaign across its social media channels, encouraging users to share the #ThankYouMidwife for a chance to win a staff room refurbishment for their nominated maternity ward.

With this campaign, Pampers saw an opportunity to let it evolve over time, creating a strong relationship with midwives and proving itself as a socially-aware brand that truly cares about its core consumers: babies and the mothers that birthed them.

Marketing to Mothers in 2019

As with many other consumer groups, moms’ purchase journeys have become more fragmented across devices, platforms and channels, making them harder to reach.

Creating meaningful connections with mothers is crucial to reach them, and these brands have found relevant, impactful ways of creating these relationships.

The key to doing so lies in understanding their preferences and purchase motivations, and especially how factors like trust and social causes are playing a more essential role than ever.

For example, our research found that:

  • Quality is the number one purchase driver for U.S. and Chinese mothers, and should form a focal point of a marketing strategy aimed at these consumers.
  • They’re much more likely to opt in for personalized loyalty rewards from brands than women without children (at 59%), proving the importance of a personal, authentic brand experience.
  • 29% of U.S. moms browse social media more after becoming a parent, showing social is an important part of mothers’ (and primarily new mothers’) purchase journey.
  • More than half are easily swayed by other people’s opinion, making it crucial for brands to have a proactive and loyal online and offline community.

These campaigns and insights prove the power of going beyond your product or service to identify what really matters to your target consumers, then finding a natural space for your brand to get involved in an authentic way.

New call-to-action

You’ve read our blog, now see our platform

Every business has questions about its audiences, GWI has answers. Powered by consistent, global research, our platform is an on-demand window into their world.