Friday, 6 April 2012

Easter holidays and birthdays – mum insight

We’re in the midst of Easter holidays and Katie’s 5th birthday (Lynne’s daughter) is next week. That means we’ve been on the hunt to find activities to fill the days and some treats which don’t break the bank. Most mums, even if they have disposable income, have to constantly balance financial considerations – the household budget versus buying yet another pair of school shoes, forking out for holiday childcare so they can work, enabling their kids to enjoy the holidays by paying for activities offset against the increased council tax bill they just received.

It’s a constant juggling act, which makes most mums financially savvy when it comes to day to day spends. Take today for example, I took my eldest off to the cinema (ODEON) and the ticket guy tried to sell my one of their loyalty cards (£1.99), the ticket price was about £6.50 and he told me I’d get a free ticket next time. So theoretically, I’d be saving myself £4. But as a busy working mum with young children my opportunities to get to the cinema are limited and I knew there would be terms and conditions attached to when I had to claim the ‘free’ ticket by. In my head I’d be paying £2 for something I might never use. I said no and was met with an expression which combined surliness and contempt ‘she’s obviously no idea what a brilliant bargain this is’. As a marketer, I (erm) marvelled at their excellent customer service but as a mum thought they could have pitched the sale in a much better way - why not offer a paid for card that gives me an automatic treat for my child? Alternatively, a free card, which would encourage me to bring my child to the cinema more (at premium times when I have to buy a full priced adult ticket)? A missed opportunity to tap into the mum market.

I’m off to a birthday party this weekend (Princess and Pirate theme – for 5 year olds, not the adults), always an expensive occupation, buying outfits, gifts and cards. We’ve seen some innovative ways to keep these costs down including getting your child to make a birthday card (also quite handy if you are last minute) and re-gifting unwanted presents (shhh). But sometimes birthdays can be an opportunity for education, Lynne’s daughter has requested a visit to the Imperial War Museum, North at Salford Quays for her birthday as they have been doing a World War 2 project at school. It would be great to see companies developing gift offerings that go a step beyond the expected dolly, book or dvd.

If anyone is looking for something to do this weekend then how about checking out the Imperial War Museum North. They are holding an exciting exhibition for children, Once Upon a Wartime. You can learn all about the true events that inspired books like Carrie's War, The Machine Gunners and War Horse.

And even better our client Soreen are going to be there all weekend handing out free samples. Yum yum!!!

If you’d like to know more about innovating and creating products and services that appeal to mums then contact us.

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