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Parents Look to Nature for Baby Care

By: Sara Mason
Posted: April 7, 2009, from the April 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

Sweet Grass Farm launched its FarmBaby line last spring, with the goal to provide affordable, natural baby care to eco-conscious moms.

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Another key is to engage and enhance relationships with moms in a way that is relevant to them—and the Internet is an effective tool in this effort. Maupu cites research that shows that 70% of moms today participate in community sites, and 68% of moms rely on word-of-mouth for family-related matters. Indeed, the population of mothers going frequently online is estimated at approximately 32 million, and their Internet usage exceeds traditional media weekly consumption, according to Forrester Research. By liaising with “mommy blogger” communities, brands seek to create a dialogue with consumers, beyond providing functional product benefits, engaging with them on an emotional level so they can better understand this community’s needs and concerns. Sweetsation Therapy uses its site (www.sweetsationtherapy.com) as an educational tool, providing consumers with information about ingredients used in the products, where they come from and how they benefit the skin.

“Because people are now able to research products beyond what is advertised, they are looking for products personalized to their interests and lifestyles,” said Lyne Appel Downing, vice president of operations, Ecostore, a New Zealand-based brand founded 15 years ago and launched at U.S. Meijer stores in February 2009.

Using the Internet to spread the word about products doesn’t hurt either. “We have found our greatest success is through word-of-mouth endorsements,” says Downing. “We are fortunate to have customers who are passionate brand ambassadors.”

Brands such as Ecostore are fortunate in that many of the emerging trends are the very attributes on which said brands were founded. Yet, consumers are often skeptical of the effectiveness of an eco brand. Goods and services that tie back to an individual’s core values—such as the health and wellness of the family—are areas in which consumers continue to spend, regardless of the economy. “Consumers are prioritizing their purchases,” explained Downing. “While they are scaling back in some areas, they are continuing to spend on products they are passionate about.”

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