Start-up baby food brand Mamamade offers time-poor, nutrition-conscious parents a range of freshly prepared, organic meals that save on time without compromising on quality.
It sells a better way of life for people who are grappling with the complexities of parenthood and is resonating with mothers across the UK in a powerful way. So much so, that in the year to end 2022, Mamamade is projected to turnover £1.5 million.
This is no fluke. Behind Mamamade’s disruption of the baby food market is an intimate understanding of their customer’s needs, and an ability to rapidly evolve their offering and brand as these needs change.
Founder Sophie Baron tells us how she got to know her target customer.
Take a walk in their shoes.
Mamamade identifies its audience as ‘a new generation of parents’, which begs the question, what makes this generation different to the last?
It all comes down to a fundamental shift in the way we define and talk about motherhood says Sophie, who points to a greater emphasis on looking after yourself and speaking openly about the challenges of parenting.
‘Self-care is what’s required if you’re to become a better mum.’
“The culture of motherhood has changed for the better as women have realised that ‘self-care’ isn’t selfish – it’s actually what’s required if you’re to become a better mum. That means accepting the support that’s available to you, whether that’s a flexible working offer or premade baby meals, so that your own wellbeing isn’t compromised.
“It also means speaking openly about the emotional and practical challenges that parenting can bring, and not feeling ashamed to admit that you’re struggling to cope. This has become easier as society has embraced the benefits of talking about wellness and mental health – especially during the pandemic - and more people have turned to social media to speak honestly about their experiences.”
‘New parents became more open to accepting help.’
The pandemic changed the experience of motherhood once again, says Sophie, as a whole generation of people gave birth alone, without access to the support networks that would ordinarily ease their transition into parenthood. Demand for ready-made meals - as opposed to shortcut meals that still required an element of labour - went up as new parents became more open to accepting help and felt less peer pressure to cook everything from scratch.
As Mamamade’s customers changed the way they consumed, and how they viewed their roles as parents, the business had to adapt its offering and increase the pace of deliveries to ensure they remained relevant to their target customer.
Make them feel they’re getting more.
The Mamamade website encourages customers to “think of us as your support system…recognising that when it comes to nutrition, wellbeing and beyond, there's no one-size-fits-all.”
In this way, the brand positions itself as much more than just a baby food product. The meals may sit at the heart of the brand, but around this core offering Mamamade has established an online community for new mothers, and a catalogue of expert advice on parenting. It sets itself up as the modern-day answer to parenting handbooks and in-person support groups.
‘People want to connect with others going through a similar experience.’
Mums seeking peer support are invited to become a ‘Mamamate’ by joining a private Facebook group, giving them a collective identity that makes them feel they’re more than just a customer. As Sophie observes, “people want to connect with others going through a similar experience and really benefit from having a support network. It gives them access to people who get what they’re going through and have similar ideas about what it means to be a good parent.”
Parents also have access to blogs, social media content and newsletters that offer practical guides on everything from introducing your baby to peanuts, making baby food more flavourful without adding salt and eating well for a good night’s sleep. There’s a real sense across the brand’s channels that you’re getting more than just a product from a business that genuinely has your best interests at heart.
Keep the conversation going.
To really drill into what your customer wants from your product, says Sophie, you need to be inviting feedback, kickstarting conversations with your community and using the insights you’ve gathered to evolve your product, your packaging and the way you speak about your brand.
‘Listen to what your die-hard fans say about you.’
These are Sophie’s tips for keeping the conversation going:
Narrow down your target customer(s).
As Sophie developed a better understanding of who was regularly purchasing Mamamade products, she developed three core profiles that revealed the lifestyles, spending habits and priorities of her primary customers:
1. Busy, under supported professional women who were struggling to keep pace with the demands of motherhood and married life while they held down a senior position in a corporate firm.
2. Nutrition-conscious women working in the creative industries, or on a freelance basis, who needed easy access to high quality meal options that aligned with their sustainable values.
3. Nutrition or wellness practitioners with little time on their hands and a desire for speedy, healthy alternatives to processed baby foods that never compromised on quality.
The challenge for Sophie was ensuring her brand had universal appeal for all three camps - something she achieved by crafting a carefully balanced tone of voice “that is empathetic and understanding and at the same validates every feeling that motherhood comes with.”
‘Gritty stories…speak to themes all new mothers will be able to relate to.’
While the brand feels warm and personable, with plenty of images of beaming mothers and babies, it doesn’t shy away from the raw, messy and bewildering side of parenting that other brands have historically glossed over.
Affirmative statements on Instagram overturn the idea of perfect parenting and the gritty stories of real mums, like TikTok influencer and NHS nurse Lauren Young, speak to themes that all new mothers will be able to relate to, like sleepless nights, ‘mum guilt’ and the difficulty of returning to work while a little one is weaning.
In portraying these common areas of maternal experience in an honest and unvarnished way, Mamamade is helping customers of all backgrounds, beyond just the core personas Sophie has identified, to see themselves in the Mamamade brand.