When it comes to products for kids, marketing is a delicate balance between what the youngsters want and what parents determine is appropriate. By appealing to both and by using creative innovation, whatever your product, your small business will be more likely to find success.
If a company that produces products for children can maintain the equilibrium between the product user, the kid, and the product purchaser, often the parent, it can gain a stronger market presence than a competitor who ignores either side of the equation. By addressing the weaker quotient, you can gain better footing in the marketplace.
One California lifestyle company that launched a new all-natural skin-care company for kids has done a remarkable job attaining this critical balance, winning national awards with parenting forums within its first year and making a splash with the kids who use the products. Exploring what the company did can provide some ammo for how to market your own kid-oriented products and services.
This business has a good niche product geared to a relatively new market with few competitors. And to give its product greater appeal, the company put the product’s dual market, both the kids and the parents, at the centerpiece of its marketing efforts.
For the youngsters, the company chose a kidcentric approach. It created inviting, kid-friendly names for the products that children could relate to, a wise direction for kid-oriented companies to follow. The company speaks on a kid-appropriate level by using “fun” adjectives such as “friendly,” “sunny,” “happy,” and “funny” to describe the products, another important trait for attracting kids and one worth incorporating into your specific product development and marketing campaigns. The company further appeals to kids’ sensibilities by packaging the products in bright colors and kid-attracting designs, using iconic symbols, colors, and patterns to identify their usage. The company also seeks feedback from kid testers by asking them to complete comment cards, ultimately ditching some products or tweaking them until the kids are satisfied. Finally, the company decided to add entertainment value to the product line and created a CD with silly rhymes and songs to serve as mnemonic devices for developing good skin-care habits.
But the company didn’t by any means ignore the parents, the ultimate purchasers of the product and the dollar-spending decision makers. For example, the product is priced at a relatively affordable rate because price is often a top parental concern. Additionally, the company seeks opinions from parents on comment cards, incorporating their recommendations into product development and marketing decisions. The company further legitimizes its product by affixing a quality-assurance label and backing it up by listing the ingredients in easy-to-understand words rather than confusing technical jargon. To appeal more to today’s health-conscious consumer, the company plays up the natural and chemical-free components of the skin-care products.
To further distinguish the product, an active Web component was added, providing parents’ a forum for learning more about the ingredients, including the “toxic bad guys” found in everyday products. The Web site also promotes the company’s mission and philosophy and contains information related to skin care, including printable checklists for kids to earn stars for performing their skin-care regimen.
While this Web site approach is elaborate, small businesses can learn from this company’s impulse, particularly when it comes to adding a learning or educational component to kids’ products. More importantly, what this company cleverly managed to do is to create an online marketing means that dovetails nicely with its product, a smart tactic worth imitating, even if to a lesser degree.
But the real lesson to remember here is that both parents and kids are crucial in youth marketing, so for a stronger share of the market, smart businesses can’t ignore either one and can win points by keeping both in mind.