Ask any mother what her child’s favorite foods are and she’ll probably rattle them off without blinking. Ask her to visit the grocery aisle and choose the medication she would buy if her child is coughing and she’ll hesitate. Not because she doesn’t know, but because she wants to think about it. A lot.
In a recent nationwide study of 423 moms, we discovered that it takes moms three times longer to choose health-and-wellness products in comparison to products with non-health benefits. Her decision-making process is much slower and more deliberate. She’ll flip over the package, read the details and compare and contrast all her product choices. At times she’ll even ask hard questions from people she trusts.
Factors That Make Their Decisions More Difficult
We discovered that when it comes to the health-and-wellness purchasing decisions, there are always three concurrent variables at play:
According to the study, the importance moms place on health-and-wellness decisions may be the result of the pressure they place on themselves, which leads to the vulnerable moments that then impact their brand selection process. In fact, she prefers to choose brands that can help reduce her vulnerabilities. And while it would seem commonsense that all moms experience these feelings, few realize they are in constant flux and exist no matter where she is in her motherhood journey.
Uncovering Six Universal Need States on Vulnerability
The study unlocked moms’ innermost fears, anxieties and insecurities about motherhood. Despite the seemingly endless feelings of vulnerability that these moms reported, the study was able to condense their emotional exposure into six “need states,” the complex web of emotional, social, environmental, rational and personal triggers that lead individuals to choosing specific brands. They are:
Interestingly, the six need states surfaced when tested against product categories, leading us to confirm that they exist across any mom and baby category. When these 423 moms were asked to honestly reveal which vulnerability led them to choose specific brands:
Helping Moms Resolve Their Vulnerabilities
Marketers seeking to build brand loyalty with moms should consider positioning their product through the lens of her vulnerabilities. Marketers who apply this approach would discover what our team discovered in the study—57% say they would be more likely to prefer and purchase products that would resolve her feelings of vulnerability.