When we decided recently to flex our market research muscles, it didn’t take long to decide what topic to look at, or to whom we should be reaching out. With Easter fast approaching it seemed an optimum time to get some insight into retail and family-related activities over this period, and naturally we wanted to talk to probably the most influential people when it comes to Easter shopping – mums!
With that in mind we contacted 50 of the UK’s best-known Mummy-bloggers to find out what kind of chocolate eggs they were planning to get for their kids this year, what they considered the best Easter days out, and, given how predictably unpredictable our weather is, what they thought were the best family activities for rainy days.
From a pretty tasty response rate of around 40%, we found out:
● …that the vast majority of mums, 52% to be precise, either head straight for the Cadburys, or shop around for the best deal with no particular brand in mind. Others look to upmarket brands such as Lindt, or rely on their partners to pick something up (is that really a good idea?).
● …a similar number of our respondents, 56% in this case, said that their ideal Easter activity would be going on either a farm visit, or to a National Trust site. Theme parks, the seaside and the zoo also got some favourable mentions.
● …and when it comes to keeping the kids entertained on a wet day, we found up to 40% of mums liked to get messy with some arts ‘n’ crafts, with others prepared to brave the weather and head to a soft play centre, the movies, or the nearest muddy puddle to jump in!So, by now you’re probably wondering to yourself, what does this piece of admittedly quite fascinating research have to do with increasing brand loyalty? Well, let me explain.
Our findings show that the big-name brands such as Cadburys, Lindt and Kinder continue to hold sway over the Easter egg market. Own-brand labels tend not to perform as well, despite big names such as Tesco and ASDA having earned some good reputations for quality choc over the last few years. Given the potential shelf space and discounting they can afford for their own products then, it seems that they need to look at getting more creative with their marketing.
And we’re not just talking about manufacturers of Easter eggs of course – the same holds true of any brand trying to establish some market share when there’s some big fish already in the pond. If you want to get noticed you need to build brand loyalty, and Easter is a great time to do it. Over 70% of people feel that Easter is becoming, like Christmas, far too commercialised. They’re looking for something different from “Buy this, Buy that” – they want to be entertained.
Let’s take a look at fashion label DKNY, which last year ran a social media scavenger hunt, tweeting clues to thousands of followers, one of which led people to a chocolate treat resting on a pair of kitten heels. The subsequent image shared around Twitter was a great piece of free marketing, and of course the foot traffic through DKNY’s physical outlets saw a massive increase (hope their shoes didn’t get too many choccy fingerprints on them).
ASDA did a similar kind of thing in 2013 with a scavenger hunt through their stores using mobile devices – again masses of extra footfall from people who might not otherwise have popped in. Both this and DKNY’s tactic are a brilliant way of engaging with online communities and strengthening relationships with the brand through non-direct selling.
And what of the other questions we asked the Mummy-bloggers? Well, the way we see it, brands looking to connect with people should always try to tie themselves to emotional experiences.
Let’s say that we could extend our findings across the UK, and that around 50% of families try to do something outdoorsy and/or educational at Easter not too far-fetched. Why not then run competitions such as “Sandcastle Building” or “Funniest Animal Picture” and get people to share them over your brand’s Instagram or Pinterest platform?
Then there’s the weather of course. How to get people thinking about your brand on a rainy day? Look to B&Q for example. They run weekend DIY classes for kids – fun and educational for the little ones, gets parents into the stores and adds heaps of value to the brand as one that cares about family. If parents are at home and looking for inspiration, an enterprising brand might suggest “Best Easter Egg Painting Competitions”, or share some entertaining kids cookery videos over their social channels.
What we’re saying is – if you want your brand to stand out against big competition this Easter then you need to consider the current retail scene – social media activity; the increased use of technology by shoppers; people looking for budget family activities; the effects of the weather; the way people are tired of being sold to and want instead to be entertained and challenged. Get creative at Easter and you’ll find your brand sees a boost.