Be reassured, informed, understood, guided, more beautiful. These are the main needs of expectant mothers. Although responding to all these needs is not an easy task for companies, one brand, among others, has established a reputation for itself in the relatively niche market of pregnant women. That brand is Clarins. What factors have caused this success? What is the « baby » strategy of this cosmetics brand?
The long established relationship between Clarins and future mothers
In 1993, Clarins was already making an impact on the cosmetics for expectant mothers market when it published the book « Pregnancy, the most beautiful days of your life. » The brand was launched; Clarins established itself as the brand leader for beauty advice during pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a very special moment in a woman’s life. While we’re familiar with the physiological and psychological consequences, there’s a shortage of studies in the field of marketing. Yet the period of pregnancy alters women’s consumption habits significantly: here’s an analysis of the very specific consumer profile that is the pregnant woman.
The first profound change during pregnancy concerns products that are deemed dangerous for babies, where we see consumption levels drop. Alcohol is a particularly representative example, as a report from the Ecole de Santé Publique (French School of Public Health) showed. According to a study led by the Health Council of the Netherlands in 2005, 80% of women of reproductive age drink alcohol regularly but two-thirds of them stop drinking alcohol altogether from the 3rd month of pregnancy onwards. This behaviour isn’t observed everywhere to the same degree (in the United States, for example, half of pregnant women admit to having drunk alcohol at least once during the last month of pregnancy), but an unequivocal conclusion emerges nevertheless: women make an effort to reduce their consumption of harmful products during their pregnancy.
Huggies chooses humour to catch its target audience’s attention: they understand that parents and future parents want to make light of their difficulties (vomit, sleepless nights, etc.) as much as possible.
The campaign, created by JWT Entertainment, started out as a stand-up comedy show for pregnant women, focused on the realities of parenthood. The show brought together famous names in British comedy on the stage and pregnant celebrities in the audience. The night also gave marketers the opportunity to collect humorous testimonies from ordinary parents.
Sketches were then gradually broadcast via a dedicated website as well as the brand’s YouTube and Facebook pages. The release of only one video per week (since the 30th of August 2010) allows for the development of visitor loyalty. The short length of each video (3-5 minutes) matches the limited free time in young parents’ busy schedules. Advertising banners reinforced this operation.
More than 7,600 people “liked” it on Facebook, and many blogs have mentioned the event.
This campaign strongly contrasts with those often promoted by the sector in that it does not deal with an idealised vision of parenthood. Huggies has thereby proven they can understand the challenges faced by young parents and tailor their advertising to match that.
Nestlé cares for mothers. In 2006, the brand created a website providing expert nutritional advice for kids. The website now registers 460,000 subscribers and receives an average of 159,000 unique visitors and 6,300 new subscriptions per month.
On the menu: a nutrition navigator. This interactive programme gives information on the nutritional needs of a baby for each age category. It also provides a downloadable guide with menu suggestions for two weeks. Some other sections are available such as everyday life with baby, mums’ tricks, advice from experts, games… and downloadable Nestlé coupons.
The programme also indicates what the growing-up milestones of the child are according to their age (like picking up and holding objects, for example).
Pampers Village is an online community for parents. The brand is here to help parents from the beginning of pregnancy through to baby’s various development stages.
This website– which builds a strong relationship between the brand and mums – has been highly praised: « This is an example in terms of practical tips and advice for day-to-day life with my children ».
As a result, mothers feel closer to the brand: « This investment is a great sign of commitment from the brand and therefore I feel more likely to share this commitment in return ».
A newsletter and magazine complement the website in order to offer content that is adapted to the mothers’ expectations, month after month.
In April 2009, Nestlé, along with theOgilvy One agency, launched its iPhone app Devenir Maman (Becoming A Mum) which gives advice to women who are expecting a baby during all 9 months of pregnancy. On the menu: nutritional advice, useful information on pregnancy and baby’s development, but also personalised tools like a baby name guide or a personal photo album.
The application is definitely moving with the times and has successfully followed other apps like Name that baby! or The iPhone Mom. Its design is adapted to modern mums’ tastes with drawings made by the famous French illustrator Pénélope Jolicoeur.
According to its users it is an original and practical application: « I have two daughters and I wish I could have used it while they were kids. It would have allowed me to stop lugging three books around at a time. »
The application received a famous marketing award in 2009.