In this interview, our client (Baby category, feeding products) discusses their marketing concerns. Sales of their 27-year old brand were declining. A new partnership with Kids Business was formed, to embark on market research to validate their assumptions as to the reasons why and to devise an action plan that will ensure the brand reconnects with the next generation of Mums.
Recommended Reading: Heinz Baby Basics Market Research Case Study & Results
KB: Tell us a little bit about Heinz Baby Basics and what problems it solves for Mums?
Heinz: Heinz Baby Basics is a range of feeding accessories designed for newborns all the way up to toddlers. There’s a range of products that includes cutlery, crockery, storage of food, as well as other accessories such as play mats and bottle washers. Everyday products used by parents to feed their kids.
KB: How long has Heinz Baby Basics been around for?
Heinz: 27 years.
KB : Why after 27 years did you now decide to embark on market research?
Heinz: The products general look and feel had last been created back in 2010.
At the time, our primary consumer was Generation X Mums and the look and feel was designed specifically with them in mind. Over the last 18 months we found a slowing in sales which we anecdotally felt had something to do with the way the product looked.
The only way for us to really determine that other than using subjective anecdotal opinions was to test it. And that’s exactly what we did. It turns out that we were correct. Our current customer was a millennial as opposed to Generation X Mum. The current look & feel just didn’t appeal to her in the same way.
So it was time for us to reinvent it. The product was still good. It’s just a case of appealing to a different mum.
KB: How have you seen Mums purchasing habits change in those two generations?
Heinz: There’s a whole series of things that have changed.
- The millennial mum is very technology driven. She has daily access to a world of information through social media as well as the Internet.
- She is researching a lot before spending money – she has access to a lot more information.
- And with that – she has a lot more choice. The market is quite saturated which is which is good for the consumer because they have options.
- There’s more to it than simply putting product on the shelf and expecting it to walk out the door.
- The millennial consumer is less concerned with what the Generation X Mum was preoccupied with. They have different decisions purchasing decisions when it comes to color, functionality, availability, price. They are purchasing differently.
KB: What two or three assumptions about Mums can marketers make that are wrong?
1. Price is everything. That can be a mistake. Other assumptions you make that are wrong – is that:
2. Mum’s want pink and blue for male and female. I think this is also an assumption that can be wrong.
3. One solution fits all. I think that is the third assumption that can be wrong.
KB: What was the two or three most surprising insights the research revealed for you?
- Probably around color, that pink and blue wasn’t as important as we thought it was.
- I think that the importance of availability was a little surprising, in the sense that, the availability it goes a lot deeper. Mums felt that if it was available in all the right retailers then it must be a good product.
- The other surprising insight was around our brand Heinz Baby Basics and the fact that they weren’t crazy about the word “basics”. That was the biggest revelation.
What sales opportunities has these market research insights opened up for you?
Heinz: Well it’s given us a new lease on life really, it’s allowed us to take a mature product, in a mature industry and space and given us an opportunity to refresh and revitalize.
The research was fundamental, it was the backbone of all the decisions that we’ve made. The beauty of doing the research and doing it as extensively as we did, is it takes the decision away from the subjective point of view and from a 40 year old male’s point of view and puts it back into the hands of the decisions back into the hands of the target consumer.
That’s created an environment where we feel confident that the product will be successful and will work well because the fundamental decisions on the look, feel and form have been made by the consumers themselves, not by us. So it has given us a level of confidence.
The research enabled Heinz Baby Basics to:
- Revamp the entire range with: on-trend branding and positions
- Validate with certainty that the decisions and strategy are what customers want
- Faster Sales: sold in the new look rand to all major retailers with reorders already underway
- Market Expansion: Secured a NEW pharmacy retail partner
Updated: Since the brand overhaul, Kids Business introduced the NEW Heinz Baby Basics range of products to over 150 influencers with an audience of over 3 Million Mums at a series of Premier Influencer Marketing Events, with more live activations planned for 2019.