Head First Into a New Category

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Our Thoughts
  • by Jordann Ndoye

As my first Mother’s Day has come and gone, I can’t help but think of the past year and how for the first time in a long time, I felt like a brand new consumer. Not only did I enter a new phase of life, I entered a whole new category -- one filled with SO MANY options and opinions on what’s “right” and “best” for your new baby.

While I’ve done my fair share of qualitative research with Moms and Baby Care brands, I was never actually the one going cross eyed while browsing through websites that seem to have 4367 options for every product I looked up. This journey was new for me (on so many levels).

Like many consumers purchasing products for the first time in a completely new-to-me category, I had to identify what was most important to me when deciding what to buy. As a “new” consumer, here is what I prioritized with some insight into how each of these might play a part in strategies you put in place for your brand, product, or organization:

  1. Recommendations - this was #1 for me. With the overwhelming amount of options out there, I needed to narrow down as quickly as possible before panic and second-guessing took over my life. Talking to my close friends and family who recently had kids or were experienced Moms was a lifesaver. Popular sites like Lucie’s List were also helpful (but admittedly, started to be too much, as well).

    Make your brand and product experience so great and unique that people can’t help but talk about it. The biggest recommendation I received and gladly pass along now is pretty much everything from the Frida brand. They truly deliver on products that solve for both Mom and baby needs in those first few weeks. 

  2. Value - not surprising, like many consumers, value was very much top of mind for me. I wanted something that was good quality, but not going to break the bank. As a first time mom, I was ready to pay top dollar for whatever people said my baby needed, but my bank account felt differently. I gauged value by products or brands that could offer me more. Babies grow and change quickly, so I was willing to pay more for items that would get long term use. 

    Communicate how your product or brand goes above and beyond to meet your consumers needs. I was especially drawn towards products and brands that highlighted how they could “grow” with my baby like cribs that turn into toddler beds, or exersaucers that turn into play tables. These products solved a need for me now and eliminated something I would have to think about and buy in the future.

  3. User Experience - I looked for things that were going to make my life easier, not harder. One of the things that mattered most to me was simplicity and ease of use. I was terrified and overwhelmed with the thought of struggling and looking like I didn’t know what I was doing because #spoileralert: I definitely didn’t know. 

    Ensure your products are solving both an emotional and functional need or tension. The UppaBaby stroller is ridiculously expensive, but was a splurge that has been worth EVERY penny because of its ability to fold up and setup all with a push of a button. Every anxiety I had of transporting a stroller and clicking in a car seat has disappeared since buying this product. UppaBaby uncovered an insight that is not simply about strapping baby in and moving from point a to point b...it is about not appearing as a mom who doesn’t know what the hell she is doing

The thread that runs through my three priorities for purchasing is that these brands have closely engaged with the moms and the babies they are selling to. It is not enough to push out a product that just gets a job done—a brand must take a look at the myriad of needs a consumer has and solve for problems that often run far deeper than what appears on the surface.

Anyways, I'd love to hear from you! When was the last time you were a new consumer in a category? What were the most important deciding factors? Feel free to send me a note at  jordann@seekcompany.com.