Family audiences
01 March 2017

3 things to consider when marketing to family audiences

For many consumer brands, reaching and engaging with family audiences is a key objective. With the help of social media, consumers have a powerful voice, so it is a challenge, now more than ever, to meet the demands of parents and little ones, whilst keeping them continually engaged.

It is important for brands to understand what makes parents and families tick, what their concerns are and what would influence purchasing decisions. There is a greater need for brands to instil trust and reliability, whilst inspiring and empowering their audience. It can be difficult to achieve these outcomes if you are low on resources and time, and easy to miss opportunities that could help you connect with wider audiences, increase engagement and boost positive sentiment towards your brand.

Here are few examples of brands that have successfully engaged the family audience and a few tips to help you stay competitive, understand your audience and keep them coming back for more.

#1 Look at the trends
To resonate with children and win over parents, it is essential to know what recurring channels, themes and subjects grab parents’ attention and why. Gaining real-world insight and knowledge into the latest crazes and where your market is going, will help encourage brand advocacy and influence parent’s decision-making habits.

While it is useful to spot what the latest fads are, it is also important to look at what isn’t working in the market. 2016 was the year of great debate over the lack of inclusion, outdated gender roles and lack of representation within product ranges. This caused many brands to rethink their strategies and reinvent their product line. Mattel is a great example of a brand taking the time to listen and solve this problem with new Barbie body shapes. This was an important step for Mattel as they took a hard look at themselves, rectified the situation and gave consumers a chance to reconnect with the brand.

#2 Drive emotional connections
We know that consumers crave experiences that connect on an emotional level, but of course, it is easier said than done. It is also important to focus on emotional analytics; not only understanding what your customers are feeling but why, and what can you do about it? For example, Christmas is a stressful time for most parents, and a recent study by Tesco showed that 66% of parents do not know what to gift their children. Tesco wanted to solve this problem and give parents a helping hand by launching a Toy Tester Hotline, where kids could give parents advice on the year’s top toys, why they like them and why parents should purchase the toys. With such a simple idea, Tesco were able to influence purchasing decisions and gave their customers what they wanted.

#3 Innovate, innovate, innovate
Once your customers have bought into your brand, what can you do to keep the momentum going and your audience continually engaged? Listening to your customers and involving them in your creative process is the answer. Hasbro is certainly a brand to take notes from. Last year they launched a web portal, Spark Hasbro, in which fans can submit their own product ideas and inventions. This is a fantastic example of how to make your fans feel like part of the family.