Here’s their perspective on how brands are currently relating to their customers.
To start the day we did a few laps of the exhibition hall to get our bearings. The first stall to catch our attention was Melobaby, creators of bags in various geometric patterns and styles aimed at mums. A look inside these bags revealed discrete compartments and pockets designed with practicality as a primary consideration. There are no zips or Velcro, instead, these cleverly designed bags feature magnets for ease of use and to ensure a mum’s or baby’s skin won’t get scratched.
Throughout our visit, we saw many takes on the aesthetic yet functional bag, for example, The Daddy Bag which incorporates the same principles and comes in either ‘urban dad’ camouflage or solid black.
The technology of tomorrow – and a brand from yesterday
We were thrilled to see an old school mobile communications brand launching itself into the mother and childcare sector. Nokia, ‘go-to’ 90s mobile brand beloved by millennials, from back in the days before the iPhone, has recently expanded its portfolio.
Their ‘Healthier together’ connected products don’t just monitor a baby’s health but extend to the whole family – with personal health data captured feeding into Nokia’s free Health Mate app. The entire range, from activity and sleep, watches to Nokia’s smart temporal thermometer are beautifully designed, so all the family can keep track of their health without compromising on style.
This Internet of Things (IoT) was a recurring theme – with most leading mother and childcare brands now focused on developing a connected offering, as parents embrace new technology to help them learn more about their baby’s growth and development and get practical tips.
One example is the Philips Avent uGrow app that connects to uGrow-enabled products to track a baby’s health and progress – offering parents peace of mind about their child’s development. The app features articles that relate specifically to a baby’s age, ensuring parents always receive the right information at the right time. As with Nokia, the app is free. Chris even had a sneak preview into the realities of parenting by reliving a typical night as a parent using Avent’s virtual reality (VR) headset.
Moving on through the show, we discovered For Aisha, a baby food company ‘focused on natural halal ingredients, inspiring flavours and health’, who are (at the time of writing) the UK’s only non-dairy baby food producer.
As we become ever more health-conscious as consumers, it was probably only a matter of time before some babies and toddlers became dairy-free too, based on choices made by their parents. Will traditional baby food brands embrace this cultural shift led by to compete with new challengers like For Aisha in the millennials market? Watch this space.
Two more brands that stood out and caught our eye were Magnet Mouse and Cells4Life.
Yes, magnets again – it was definitely a theme this year! Magnet Mouse has come up with an amazing time saving solution. As their tagline suggests, you can now undress, and dress your baby in seconds. Magnetic fasteners, instead of the traditional poppers used on baby grows, means less time struggling with your little tot and more time to play, cuddle and sleep. Busy parents can spend more quality time with their babies, and minimise the time they disturb their little ones when they do need to change them. Magnet Mouse products are 100% cotton, made in the UK, and feature classic, timeless illustrations.
We visited Cells4Life, ‘the UK’s largest cord blood bank’ stand and learnt more about the possibilities offered by storing a baby’s stem cells. Stem cells can repair, regenerate and save lives and have been used in over one million transplants worldwide. Blood cells taken from a baby’s umbilical cord at birth are stored for possible future use, should a child, or potentially its sibling need treatment in the future. As Cells4Life say ‘…we know that nothing is more important than protecting your baby’s long term health’.
User experience is a term more commonly used for digital products, but our visit to The Baby Fair 2017 has clearly shown that even with a product a simple as a bag, manufacturers are taking extra care to develop a product that will function effectively and blend into parents’ lives as seamlessly as possible.
All in all, we would definitely recommend this show – especially to new parents. Even though none of the visiting Point 6 team were parents or ‘parents in waiting’, every one of the experts we spoke to made us feel welcome and at ease, as they talked us through the features and benefits of their products.