Research Shows Shifts in Young Mothers’ Brand Conversations

May 10, 2016

KellerFay-Change-in-Young-Moms-Category-W-O-M-May2016Young mothers (aged 18-34) still mostly talk about brands in face-to-face conversation, but online conversations have grown in recent years, per new data from Keller Fay Group, an Engagement Labs company. The newly-released figures indicate that between 2008 and 2015, the share of brand conversations among young mothers taking place in face-to-face conversations decreased from 75% to 70%.

At the same time, online conversations grew from 6% to 14% of all brand conversations over the same period.

Interestingly, this (rather gradual) shift seems to be occurring more rapidly among mothers when compared with non-mothers. Specifically, face-to-face conversations have only declined a point to 73% in terms of word-of-mouth share among Millennial non-mothers, with online conversation growing at a slightly more muted pace than for mothers (from 7% to 12%).

For context, data released in late 2014 by the Keller Fay Group found that 71% of all Millennials’ word-of-mouth impressions about brands took place offline.

Meanwhile, the move to more online conversations isn’t the only noteworthy trend. As the data attests, it’s also the types of brands that Millennial mothers are talking about that is changing. While there’s been a strong increase since 2010 in conversation about household brands, technology brands have also seen a hike in conversation, of 25%. That compares favorably to an overall increase of 9% in conversation about tech brands.

Other categories seeing an increase in conversation among young mothers include travel, retail and financial services. (Interestingly, women and Millennials are driving the conversation about financial services on Facebook, per a new MarketingCharts report.) These increases have occurred at the same time as conversation about children’s products has declined by 2% during the same period, from December 2010 to December 2015.

The shift is evident in the top brands that Millennial mothers are talking about. While Walmart remains the most talked about brand, tech companies now occupy 4 of the top 10 positions, led by Apple (#2) and Samsung (#3). At the same time, the 10th-most talked about brand in December 2010, Pampers, has fallen to #45 in the December 2015 rankings, while the #11 brand, Huggies, has dropped to #23.

Amazon also cracked the top 10 in the latest rankings, coming in at #8. The brand had the most positive word-of-mouth among US parents last year and the second-best among Millennials, per YouGov BrandIndex data.

It’s worth noting that the Keller Fay Group data suggests that Millennial mothers aren’t talking less, they’re simply talking about different things and in different ways. Given MarketingCharts’ primary research showing that recommendations from friends and family trump all forms of paid advertising in terms of purchase influence among both women and Millennials, these trends are important considerations for brands.

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