17 Tips for Marketing Kids Products

May 30, 2013

Are you looking for tips and strategies for marketing kids products? A little while ago we reached out to our community of entrepreneurs and asked them to share their best tip on marketing kids products and getting products into stores.  Here are their best tips and strategies for getting your baby and kids product line out there! Crafting your branding, imagery, packaging and taglines are very important, but equally time consuming,  costly, and challenging to get right the first time around, especially for products for babies where your decision maker is likely the parent, grandparent or other family member. If you have a good product or idea, just get it out on the market as fast as you can. You will have to correct course along the way, but that is part of the fun and, in truth, is a never-ending process. Good luck.- Thanks to Martin Smithmyer of Americord Registry

When coming up with a product that will be geared towards babies and kids, one of the most important thing to focus on is safety. Consumers and retailers are significantly more concerned about how the product is made when it comes to kids and babies. The last thing you want to deal with is a lawsuit or recall, which could shut your business down quickly. Odds are, you are probably getting a quote from overseas for your inventory. You need to be clear with the factory that you are working with that they must have all non-toxic parts and provide details on exactly what each material is made of. You will want the factory to provide you with a detailed QC report as well. If you have already jumped over these hurdles and currently selling your product, the best way to get exposure is through doing your own PR. Contact popular mommy bloggers, call your local news stations, and definitely pitch yourself to the local business journals. Most entrepreneurs who come up with baby/kid products are moms, so it’s great to pitch the media using “Mompreneur” throughout your conversation. Journalists are not out to give you a free commercial, so don’t make your pitch sound like a sales call. Tell your story. How you as a mom yourself came up with the idea after struggling with products that didn’t work for you. Also, never stop researching and experimenting. Have your friends continually use your product with their kids and provide honest feedback. Before releasing a kid/baby product to the market you need to be very confident that the product is safe for all kids and babies.  - Thanks to Cheri Garcia of Cheri Garcia Consulting

Being an entrepreneur is a creative endeavor that demands creativity and practicality. Baby and infant products are a major industry in the United States and I wanted to create a product that was versatile and could be sold to several markets.  The AbbyRoo bag is not only a diaper bag, but can include travel, athletics, beach bag, craft bag and more.  The age bracket is also widespread from young dance and cheerleaders to adults, both male and female. – Thanks to Peggy Hoag of Casby, Inc.

As a radio host I get to interview hundreds of entrepreneurs and the one common thread to a truly successful business is hiring the best team you could possibly afford. Hire people who can do tasks better than you or that you simply don’t like doing which allows you to spend your time doing things that you are good at and you truly enjoy. I’ve applied this tip to my own business and bringing my gLovies product to the market place is allowing me the feelings of joy rather than being overwhelmed. I have talented people who can’t wait to do the best they can do because they are excited to see my company flourish. - Thanks to Josephine Geraci of My Mom Knows Best, Inc.

Remember your user: infants. Like NYC, babies are constantly growing, adapting and changing. Can your product adapt? Remember your buyer: moms. Moms are savvy, time-crunched multi-taskers who hold the purse strings. Is your site simple, easy to use and efficient. Does it answer all their questions up front? - Thanks to Jak Burke of Baby Does NYC

Consider how you will differentiate yourself from the sea of baby and kids products that already exist.  With parents feeling stretched financially, what does your product offer to them that makes it worthwhile to take a chance and purchase?  More so, consider how they will find out about it. Don’t rely on one form of marketing alone (ex: press, social media, print, strategic alliances with other companies, etc).  How will you get their attention, and then, how will you convince them your product is the one to buy? – Thanks to Darrah Brustein of Finance Whiz Kids

As a manufacturer of food products geared to Moms and kids, we strive to have a facility that is free of all harmful, chemicals, pesticides, GMO’s, allergens, gluten and any cross contamination. Our customer’s health is priority one! Mom’s know they can trust our products and our labeling and that is important for the continued growth of our company. What kids eat today is frightening and as a Mom and a food entrepreneur, I am on a mission to inspire all Mom’s to know what they are feeding their children and to make informed decisions in their purchasing. - Thanks to Audrey Darrow of Earth Source Organics

The best products come from recognizing a need or concern and finding a simple solution to the problem. As an OB nurse, I recognized a parent need, invented and patented an innovative product to ease parent concerns over newborn cord care. New parents are instructed to air dry the umbilical cord – today’s standard – yet all infant clothing confines the area restricting air flow and causing rubbing and irritation. I recognized the need for a new bodysuit that would provide umbilical exposure and a safer way to care for baby’s cord while still covering the body for optimal thermoregulation - thus the idea for Assessables was born! Parents and grandparents give the product rave reviews now calling Assessables umbilical bodysuits “must haves” for newborns. - Thanks to Jonelle Krier of Assessables, Inc.

Practice gratitude everyday. Remember to be thankful for the opportunity to make a difference for babies, kids and parents.  Anything that makes parenthood easier is a gift and makes the world a happier place!  What an honor it is to be able to contribute something of great value. - Thanks to Jacqueline Lawrence of TJL Enterprises, MAKERS OF COLIC CALM and TUMMY CALM

While there or so many other tips I could suggest like knowing your market, ways to find resources or to boost sales; the best tip I could give someone would be to focus on your purpose.  Remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing and be sure that is your guiding principal. There will be so many different opportunities and challenges that will come your way. You are managing manufacturing, sales, marketing, social media, intellectual property, warehousing, EVERYTHING! It is so important not to get overwhelmed, stressed out or worked up.  I always knew it would be incredibly challenging, but I knew that to be successful in anything I wanted to do, that I would have to be willing to work thru the challenges. I read Philippians 4:11-13 nightly to remind myself to be content regardless of my circumstances and that in Christ, all things are possible.- Thanks to Lori Bredemeier of Little Toader

One of the best tips I have for entrepreneurs with babies and kids, is to start simple and really target your niche market.  Most entrepreneurs are dreamers and can think big thoughts with unlimited potential, however, that can really bog you down in the beginning.  We have such a desire to be everywhere!  If you created a product that solved a problem unique to your family or child, then target that particular market first.  In my case, I am marketing to moms that run with their children in jogging strollers.  Is my product great for all moms? Yes, but keeping a simple target makes it easy to stay on task.  Think of that market as your warm leads.  Once you’ve conquered that market, you can expand out into other circles.  Keeping it simple will keep you focused and ensure your product has longevity and profitability. - Thanks to Susan Lowery of The MotrB

My best tip for entrepreneurs with products for babies & kids is to create a 3-5 year plan and stay the course.  It is unrealistic to expect immediate results. When The Highchair Organizer was initially brought to market, we had an “if you build it they will come” type of attitude.  Any product needs to be properly marketed to the public (especially a children’s product).  This way parents can be secure in the product’s safety and performance. A well executed plan will keep you on course, patient, and realistic. - Thanks to Abraxas Abrams-Pickens of The Highchair Organizer, LLC

My best advice is to constantly “put yourself out there”.  There is a world full of knowledge for those that are willing to go after it. Find other entrepreneurs.  They will understand you, your challenges, and common pitfalls.  Cross-pollination of ideas and expertise is critical to success. Surround yourself with people you admire.  There are so many people that are willing to help if you take the time to find them and make a connection.  Mentors can be official or unofficial.  For every bit of mentoring you’ve received, pay it forward to the next round of entrepreneurs. Above all, remember that the Baby and Child business is dominated by women and the development of relationships is important.   Women are typically the decision makers in almost every aspect, from the retail buyers to the manufacturers.  Women decision makers want things that excite their retail buyers and that add to their bottom line. Always take the time to talk and listen to the people who buy from you.   The more you interact with store owners and buyers, the more real-time feedback you will receive.  Ultimately, buyers may tell you that they love your product, but it is their dollars that truly tell you if your product is viable. - Thanks to Laura Delzer of Fairy Godmother

Keep talking to moms and dads all the time so that you dont lose sight of reality in terms of the real needs of parents out there in relation to clothes. My line was originally for kids ages 2-9 but then after speaking to many moms, I realized that there is a real need for nice clothes for 10-12 year olds since within that age bracket they are kind of in between and it is hard for many kids to find clothes that actually fit them! – Thanks to Shouka Pelaseyed of SHOUKIE

When you are selling children’s products it is vital to appeal to the children of course, but it is as important to appeal to their parents.  This is especially true for younger children and baby products.  Nowadays parents are more aware and caring of what goes into the products they put around their children and you must make sure to appeal to these sensibilities if your product warrants it.  Beyond this is nostalgia.  Parents will always have a soft spot for products that remind them of their childhood. – Thanks to Catherine O’Sullivan & Michael Galea of Wee Rock Toy Co.

Besides the obvious marketing strategies through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) one other suggestion I would have if you know your target audience is to participate in trade shows as an exhibitor.  We’ve marketed our product, The Bamboo Brace, (thebamboobrace.com) at conferences across the country directly to the professionals who will be using it.  The Bamboo Brace is a pediatric elbow splint used for multiple diagnoses so we attended conferences for physical therapists, occupational therapists, physicians, and surgeons who we could speak to directly and educate them on our product.  This is a wonderful way to network, get feedback and spark ideas.  Ask questions and find out what people are looking for.  And above all – provide excellent customer service.  If you are passionate about your product it will show. - Thanks to Sue Workman PT, MA of The Bamboo Brace

I whole-heartedly suggest doing market research beyond what you think is sufficient before entering the highly-competitive, even overly-filled baby & children product market. Get out a pencil & paper and actually write out your ideal customer, down to what the ideal customer would look like, where they would shop, what they would shop for, who their sphere of influence would be. Without a very clear, even life-like image of your targeted demographic in mind, it is very hard to market to, and eventually reach, those who would actually want or need your products. Once you have that image & list of characteristics in mind, you must stick to it like glue. Don’t over-generalize or go places that customer wouldn’t go! It’s best to specialize and stay in your niche demographic without going into areas of customers that you’re not best suited for. – Thanks to Wendy Valderrama of Hemmed In, LLC

Do you have any tips for marketing kids products that you’d like to share? If so, leave a comment below.

4 Comments. Leave new

17 Tips from Successful Entrepreneurs for Marketing Kids Products
May 30, 2013 4:05 pm

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Lidia | typebaby
June 22, 2013 2:08 pm

What a fantastic article! I’m just getting started with my line of baby and kids tees and agree that starting simple is key. You can always expand on your line. I started with 8 designs and now know which ones are better sellers.

I’ve also learned so much talking to my retail partners, as far as what sells/doesn’t sell, what their customers want, and ultimately what new designs to work on.

Thanks Andrea, I will be referencing this post often!

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We agree wholeheartedly when it comes to safety. I would suggest contacting an agency such as SGS, who will put your product through all the necessary testing to conform to EN71 (European)and CPSIA (American)regulations. These are stringent, but necessary. Research the materials you hope to use for manufacture very carefully before jumping in – you could save yourself a lot of money. Test your product extensively amongst friends and family, and even at nursery schools. Honest reviews are worth their weight in gold, and will also give you more confidence in your product. If you are passionate about your product, and your branding – this will shine through in everything you do. Employ people who feel passionate about your product, and not just people who can do the work. Those are my tips!

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Thanks so much for sharing this!

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