The world can be a scary place, and very lonely in the age of Covid-19. With fake news the norm, distrust is at an all-time high. Expectant and new parents have had it particularly tough. In an exhausted state of new parenthood, Covid is an extra burden adding to their already long list of concerns, whether that’s the fear of hospital appointments and catching it, giving birth alone or an isolated maternity leave, it’s a very daunting and uncertain time for parents to be.
Time is precious, more than ever consumers just want the facts, no-nonsense, tell me how it is. And yes, you can still have a positive tone of voice, straight-talking doesn’t mean aggressive. In fact, consumers want brands they can have meaningful relationships with, adding value far beyond the immediate product or service, simplicity and authenticity are key; but how do brands make this a reality in an engaging and genuine way?
Empathy for your target audience is a must, what makes them tick? What are their anxieties? No one expected a global pandemic, but everyone has experienced its affects in some way, resulting in emotional changes in attitudes as well as physical changes to routine and lifestyle.
Across categories, more brands than ever are adopting a frank and honest approach. In beauty, the Ordinary, have pioneered the way for transparency, with their fuss-free, fairly priced skincare. Lead by science rather than marketing, their percentage ingredients are front and centre on pack, supported by straight forward product regimes, informative videos and responsive customer care, resulting in a legion of adoring fans and cult-status globally.
Last year, BodyForm was celebrated for their realistic #wombstories campaign, tackling historical taboos and encouraging society to talk about women’s health, simultaneously standing up for and tackling period poverty, donating millions of sanitary products to women in need, truly understanding the deeper, personal concerns of their audience.
An example closer to home is My Expert Midwife. Together we created their pivotal “Power to the Perineum campaign” addressing the little-known subject of perineal massage, which aligns perfectly to their key brand ethos of “lets be honest”, yes you can purchase their expertly developed massage oil, but they also advise that olive oil does just the trick! We created a suite of brand assets to target and educate not only mums but midwifes too.
Aware of the issue of outdated training, My Expert Midwife are passionate about educating expectant mothers and midwifes, equipping them with the most up to date knowledge to prepare for birth. With real midwives at the heart of the brand, offering free, expert advice to women, this regular engagement with their target audience provides valuable insight into the struggles and concerns pregnant women and new mums face, allowing the brand to continually move and adapt with their audience, whilst providing authentic and much-needed advice for women, gaining a loyal following and many awards.
A baby brand I have a lot of love for is Asda’s Little Angels. In 2019 we refreshed the brand, putting parents back at its heart, with a graphical execution that supports mums and dads throughout their parenting journey. Asda recognised that modern family units are diverse, and that parenting is an exciting yet scary adventure. The brand needed to have wide appeal, and Asda understood that the common thread all parents looked for was reassurance, whether that’s simple scientific icons relating to a nappies functionality or clearly labelled organic ingredients in baby food, to alleviate that dreaded “mum guilt”, identifying the customers need state in each category was key.
Empathy for their target audience goes beyond packaging, with their Baby Club website offering expert baby and parenting advice and great brand offers, to stretch that mat pay further! Winning 2021s supermarket of the year at the Mother and Baby awards, for the fourth consecutive year, is proof of Asda’s continued understanding and commitment to supporting parents every baby step of the way.
... When it comes to talking to your customers. Be honest, straightforward and consistent. Use endless curiosity to really get to know the people you want to attract, immerse yourself in their world and respond to their changing attitudes and circumstances. Have open conversations with them and get under the skin of what makes them tick and then adapt, adapt, adapt. Ignore them at your peril!