Breaking Through the Competitive Baby Market

As a first-time mom-to-be, I’ve received a crash course in all things baby. I had no idea how many different products I would need! As I build my baby registry, my head is swimming with the numerous items I will need as a new mom. From big ticket items like strollers, car seats, highchairs, nursery furniture and baby swings. To smaller items like bottles, formula, bath products, bibs, clothes, and pacifiers. The sheer number of items needed can be overwhelming.

If that wasn’t anxiety inducing enough, there are countless brands for every one item needed. While my mom brain is asking, “Which brand do I trust and which product should I choose?”, my marketing brain is asking, “How could any brand break through in this completely oversaturated market?!”

Baby products are big business. The global baby product market size was valued at $214.13 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow by 5.7% from 2022 to 2030. Some of the key players in that market include major companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Chicco and Unilever. With these massive companies dominating the market, how could a smaller brand hope to break through all the noise?

For these smaller companies, there are some key things to remember when launching or promoting a baby brand that will help any business succeed. Keep these things in mind to be as competitive as possible:

Speak directly to moms

Women make most of the purchasing decisions in the household. And when it comes to baby, they pretty much make all the decisions. So, make sure you speak to them in your marketing and advertising materials. Address things they care about like safety, ease of use and effectiveness of the product. If you can make a new mom’s life easier, that’s a huge selling point!

Parents look for deals, but price is not the most important factor

The cost of raising a child is very expensive. According to a US Department of Agriculture report, the average middle-income family spends between $12,000 and $14,000 on child-related expenses each year. And the cost could be even higher in the first year. But that doesn’t mean that cost is king. When it comes to their children, moms still value safety and reliability over cost. Moms will happily pay more for a safe and proven product. If the $900 stroller has a better safety record and better reviews than the $200 stroller, a parent will likely purchase the more expensive one. Parents do look for deals, but not at the expense of other factors. So, treat any cost savings as a bonus and lead with other benefits of your product or brand.

Parents rely on word-of-mouth recommendations

Parents will rely on a review from someone they know and/or trust over the claims of any brand. A personal recommendation will hold a lot of weight with a parent. That includes influencers, bloggers, product reviewers and friends & family. Positive online reviews will go a long way toward building consumer trust. Having a social media presence and testimonials can be more powerful than any print or TV ad you can create. Plus, mommy bloggers are extremely influential. Having moms with a huge following endorse your brand will give it more credibility.

Use videos

Post videos of the practical application of the product. Pictures are great, but if parents can see how your product is used in real-life, they can visualize if they see themselves using it. Or, more importantly, they can see their baby using it. Make sure your video includes a happy child making use of the product. This will give a positive perception of the product application. Most moms will respond if you simply and clearly show the product benefit and how it can make their lives just a little bit easier.

Leverage Other Benefits

If appropriate, tout the naturalness and/or sustainability of your product. When given the choice, today’s moms will favor brands that are easier on the environment, or made by mothers for mothers, or that give back to worthy causes.

In the oversaturated baby space, it can seem that the big players are monopolizing the market. But if smaller brands think strategically and slowly build trust in their products, there is real potential to break through this very competitive category.

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Melissa Hayden
Melissa has more than a decade of marketing and account management experience, including strategy development, brand development, integrated marketing communications, program management and account service. She has a diverse personal roster of client experience with both B2B and B2C for industries such as grocery, retail, consumer package goods, hospitality and medical device. Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree in law and sociology from American University in Washington, D.C.

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