POSTED BY Stacy DeBroff AT 10:31 AM
How a challenging economy, social media, and the new online recommendation culture combine to untether Moms from long-held brand loyalties
Back in the day, Moms played favorites. They raised “Crest Kids,” nurtured “Gerber Babies,” and took care of their “Tide Families.” With a host of brands available, they remained loyal to a select few – ones perhaps their mothers used – and simply moved past the rest in the supermarket aisles.
But no longer.
New Mom Central Consulting research reveals that today’s extended economic crisis, coupled with the rise of social media and the new online recommendation culture, compels Moms to move away from long-held purchasing behaviors. Today, just 50% of Moms consider themselves brand loyalists.
A sluggish economy and stalled recovery have combined to motivate Moms – who make a majority of their family’s purchasing decisions – to shrug off brand loyalties and explore new products, particularly if presented with a financial incentive. For example, 78% of Moms surveyed explain they will gladly switch brands if they have a coupon, and 68% pay attention to brands offering free samples.
In addition, Mom’s rapid embrace of the social media culture plays a significant role in the untethering of brand loyalties. With 9 out of 10 Moms citing Facebook as their “go-to” social media destination and 3 out of 5 Moms engaging with one another on Twitter, social media becomes the new “picket fence,” where Moms connect with one another to hear trusted recommendations and gain first-person perspective.
While we’ve always lived in a “recommendation culture,” social media now allows Moms to easily develop a network of trusted advisors and tap into them for their experiences and insights. As a result, Moms appear more willing than ever to leave brand loyalties behind and try a new product if a trusted friend loves and recommends it. In fact, 65% of Moms surveyed poll their Mom friends when trying a new product to learn about their experience, and 90% trust products more after hearing about them from friends.
But as much as this new brand freedom and flexibility opens Moms to a host of product options, it remains equally unsettling for brand marketers, used to cultivating – and keeping – loyal customers. Brands now must realize that winning over customers proves not a “one and done” effort, but instead an action they need to repeat day in and day out. So what can brands do to win over Mom consumers?
Moms say the traits they most admire in brands center around “honesty,” followed by “affordability” and “transparency.” Moreover, 55% of Moms list “lying,” e.g., making untrue claims, as the worse mistake a brand can make in communicating with Mom consumers.
Ultimately, the Mom marketplace continues to change – with Moms deepening connections with fellow Moms through social media platforms and online conversations that widen their horizons. As we enter a new age of relationship marketing – both Moms and brands – will continue to chart new territory.