Listen to This Article
Television episodes of mothers from the 1950s showcased women who had time on their hands. These women “appeared” to have a schedule allowing for full course meals, casual conversations with a friend, and being the therapist of the family.
Then came a shift where many women started working. They put children in day care and meals came pre-packaged, ready for microwave nuking. Moms still cared for their children, but everything moved faster.
We have now entered the 2nd and 3rd generations of the two household income economy. Mothers now desire a professional life that does a better job at being present for their children. In recent years, their ambition to choose the healthiest & safest options within a product category has seen a significant increase.
A good graphic design isn’t enough to get the job done with the women of today. With this transition, careful consideration needs to be taken when creating your packaging design for moms.
Get your Hands on the SmashReport!
And enter to win a FREE brand diagnosis worth $20,000.
*The SmashReport is a monthly newsletter for FMCG and CPG brands, helping them stand out in the competitive retail marketplace.
Make Mom a Superstar
No matter what generation we live in or stage in the child’s development, mothers have always desired to be a supermom. Product packaging should resonate a message to the mother that they are doing right by their family with this purchase.
Whether it is a baby product, snack pack for a lunch box, or teenage acne product, morality matters. If mom is the intended buyer, communicate that this purchase is “doing the right thing.” That foundation is a good place to start with product packaging design.
Convenience Matters to Mom
Mothers want to be a superstar, but they don’t want being the superstar to be a full-time job. Whether it is food packaging or a beauty product, convenience features are important considerations for front of label purchase drivers.
How can you communicate this message in a way that is unique and distinct from the competition? You need a differentiating factor in your marketing, even if the level of convenience is the same as what exists in the aisle.
Make Your Product Packaging Fun
Just because moms want healthy, safe, and convenient products for their children doesn’t mean they are boring old women. You will not win any points with your potential customer by creating a blah graphic design complete with boring straight-forward messaging.
The package design process should test for attractive elements, such as bright colors. Test for elements of creativity in the messaging, font styles, and shapes that live on the product package.
White backgrounds with blue, black, and brown fonts flood many of the CPG categories where moms do the shopping. A more creative process may be the positioning you need to stand out on the shelf.
Popular CPG Categories Where Moms Buy
It isn’t just children who change as they grow. Mothers are in differing states of mind based on the stage of their children. Your brand must market in such a way that it speaks to the mom at that moment.
Let’s look at the different stages of child development and how we should create packaging that speaks to that audience.
CPG Products For Babies
Safety and health are the biggest concerns of this category. Although busy with the 24-hour needs of their children, this stage is where many mothers are less distracted by professional obligations.
With the increase in paid leave, new mothers can take time to consider the products they buy for their babies. While convenience is important, it may be more helpful to this buyer profile, to let health and safety be the primary message.
Of course, things change if they have a toddler at home that is dragged around everywhere they go. Even then, a singular focus on family keeps their intention to make the best decisions for their child’s health.
CPG Products for Toddlers
Whereas babies require more attention, toddlers require more energy. Even without the professional element, chasing around a toddler all day can be exhausting. If your consumer is shopping for a toddler, making things easier for a mother becomes a more important consideration.
Are you creating food packaging that is marketed to a toddler? Here, you need to know that this is the phase where kids-fight-back. Moms may hope that their children latch to the idea of a broccoli-based meal, but in reality, they want flavor and fun in their food choices.
If your product line solves this problem, make sure the packaging designers understand the need to communicate this clearly to the exhausted mom. Create an assumed element of health but make it undeniable that they will have better success when mealtime comes.
If your product line doesn’t solve this problem, then you may have a problem of your own.
CPG Products for Children
Unless homeschooling a child, this is the time when mothers have less influence on what they do and how they do it. Since a teacher has 30 kids to worry about rather than a few, moms are looking for products that are both safe and durable.
For consumable products, kid friendly packaging is an important feature to market.
Squeeze and go packages are now widely accepted examples of kid friendly packaging. While it is common now, we assume that the first company raked in the cash by offering squeezable product packaging. Of course, that is only true if their messaging made it clear what problem this solved for busy moms.
Non-consumable products need to showcase their kid friendly design, durability, and child safety features. Children are prone to not paying attention and being easily distracted. Mothers are looking for products that won’t break both for safety reasons and the cost of replacing the item.
CPG Products for Teenagers
Unless a child has a credit card with a budget for household items, moms still make most purchasing decisions. At this stage in a child’s life, they become more opinionated. Most mothers will consider the opinion of a child when purchasing products for them.
So in this situation, you are marketing to both customers. Measure your on shelf purchase intent with both the initial decision-maker (mom) and the user (teenager) ensuring that you get the initial and repeat purchases.
Family Friendly Packaging
Mothers are also the dominant decision maker for products used by the entire family. Unless mom has taken an authoritarian stance, product packaging may need to encourage household acceptance. How do you please the husband & children while meeting the needs of the mother?
With differing needs, wants, and desires, it is important to keep the main thing the main thing. Our brand marketing strategy will be unsuccessful if our product tries to play ping-pong with family packaging by trying to please all who are involved.
Therefore, product package testing is so important. Guessing the fathers, mothers, or children’s preferences is like throwing your brand marketing in the wind and hoping it lands in the right place.
With that said, there is an important consideration when creating your initial packaging design strategy. For consumable CPG products, less than 27% are staying at home moms, which increases the desire to connect at the dinner table.
There is also a desire to provide healthy meal options for the entire family. Hence, why companies such as hello fresh are capturing market share with their ingredients in a box delivery service.
Before You market To Moms
Household brands with an existing brand identity along with new brands yet to create a logo shouldn’t rush to create packaging designs for moms.
Mom-friendly products rarely stumble upon success. They create these products with a strategy going well beyond simply asking a panel of mothers what they want. This type of testing does not showcase actual purchase intent.
To get a true understanding of what levers to pull with your mom focused marketing, test your product for on-shelf performance in a simulated buying environment. Create an environment where you have a large enough database to find out what truly matters to mom.
Packaging Design That Performs
SmashBrand uses proprietary design testing methods to make sure that your brand wins on-shelf. Our testing methodology includes strategy, testing, and iteration to be certain your brand maximizes its purchase intent and brand recall.
Discuss your project with the SmashBrand team.