What Makes a Mother Loyal to a Brand?

    Women make 90% of the household purchases. 85% of food is purchased by mothers. Clearly, what appeals to women and mothers is important for a brand to know in order to grow and thrive. Brands pay companies tens of thousands of dollars for reports and market trend updates. They survey thousands of customers and carefully track purchases in stores with technology worth millions. Knowing what mothers want….and implementing that…can make or break a company regardless of how tasty, healthy, or affordable the brand’s products are.

    Sometimes, looking for an answer can actually prevent one from seeing the answer right before them. Sometimes, brands don’t want to see what mothers want because it means making changes. And sometimes brands do make the changes and inspire other brands to also make changes….and together they transform the food industry.

    Here’s what we at Moms Across America offer brands to create health and prosperity together:

    1. Moms want to feed their families healthy food. First and foremost, we care about health. We will be loyal to brands that deliver on healthy food. Some may have to compromise and choose a cheaper product because they simply don’t have the budget to afford better, but that does not make us loyal customers. That makes us customers by default. Mothers always, always, always want to give their families the healthiest food they can. As soon as we can afford better, we will switch brands. Future growth will be seen in healthy food that is affordable.
    2. Moms want to make their families happy. Sometimes, we will “treat” our family and buy sugary products, knowing it is not the healthiest. Some of us buy sugary foods more than others. But for all, we want to make our families happy and we also want them to be healthy. The way to connect with a loyal customer is to deliver both. Make them happy with an occasional sweet treat that is also healthy. Future growth will be sweet treats that are also healthy.
    3. Moms want convenience, but not guilt. Mothers are busy and cannot always make healthy food for their families. However, we do not want TV dinners, or plastic wrapped protein bars. Moms want organic, whole foods as much as possible in a convenient packaging that is not going to pollute the planet. We do not want food made with oils that destroy the rainforest. The future in fast foods includes those that are organic, whole food, tasty, come in earth friendly packaging, and are made with global eco systems in mind.

    A point to keep in mind when trying to decipher the mind of the mother as she shops in the grocery store:

    Moms know the cheapest items are on the bottom shelves or very top. We look there first. Paying more for eye level space and then charging the customers more is just silly.


    Packaging tips for maintaining a loyal customer:

    1. Moms WANT to be loyal customers, innately, just for survival’s sake. We don’t want the exhausting complaints and whines when we buy a different product or the same product that suddenly looks different. Moms want to buy the products our kids recognize and we want our lives to be easier by being able to grab the food and go. So, changing your packaging just for a “new look” is frustrating for us and a waste of time and money for you. Keep your packaging as long as you can unless you get complaints about lack of clarity or false promises. 
    2. Moms want to buy in bulk as much as possible. Make bigger packages of staple items and use less packaging. We hate buying a bag of one batch of pancake, cake, or cookie mix. Double or triple up. While we are making one batch we might as well make 2 or 3 and save ourselves time later.
    3. Moms are more impressed with packaging that features a farmer and where our food came from than a famous cartoon character. If we can teach our children where the food came from while they are eating it you will make us feel like gold star moms.
    4. Please, for Pete’s Sake, make packages that are easy to open and reseal. There is nothing more that we hate than stale chips, spilled cereal, or a mess at the bottom of a stroller because the bag would not reseal. 
    5. It cannot be said enough: The planet is choking on plastic. Enough with the plastic! Moms hope every brand reading this is currently insisting on hemp packaging by next year. Hemp regenerates the soil, is usually grown in areas where rainwater is sufficient, and it is a sustainable, eco-friendly material. You will have the loyalty of smart moms (and millennials) everywhere if you transition to hemp packaging.

    Most importantly, moms can sniff out whiffs of inauthenticity as fast as dads can catch a kid falling off a chair. They know when a company is saying that they are “natural” and they are not. Stay tuned for next month’s article about what moms find inauthentic, the integrity of brands and giving back. In the meantime, don’t be cheesy or try too hard please ….be authentic. Give us good stories about the farmers and make healthy food that is not going to pollute the planet. Find out more about the Moms Across America Gold Standard at www.momsacrossamerica.org.

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    Zen Honeycutt is the Founding Executive Director of Moms Across America, a non-profit National Coalition of Unstoppable Moms. With the motto "Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids " Moms Across America has grown rapidly, over 600 leaders have created nearly 1000 community events in all 50 states in the past 5 years. Moms Across America empowers and amplifies the voice of the mom locally and nationally to create healthy communities by raising awareness about GMOs and related pesticides in our food. Zen has been featured on major mainstream news stations and documentaries. She is an international speaker, and author of Unstoppable: Transforming Sickness and Struggle into Triumph, Empowerment and a Celebration of Community. Zen Honeycutt is a former Consumer representative to the California Organic Products Advisory Committee.