Adults have long been expected to maintain certain grooming standards, particularly as social media and the selfie culture continues to reign. However, the emerging ‘baby beauty’ trend, targeting parents of children aged four years and under, is a recent phenomenon in the industry. This is according to consumer insight firm, Canadean.
The company’s research demonstrates how regionally, parents in South and Central America are the most likely to be concerned about their babies’ appearance, with nine in 10 parents in the area stating that their child’s looks are important. The least child image conscious consumers are in North America, where seven in 10 parents have the same attitude. Interestingly, when it comes to country analysis, Russians took first place with 98 percent of parents having the same attitude, whereas New Zealanders came out as the least image conscious at 53 percent.
Veronika Zhupanova, analyst at Canadean explains: ‘Even in the least child-image conscious country over half of the parents with babies are concerned about their children’s looks. This shows how important the consciousness around baby aesthetics has become.’
That said brands need to navigate this category carefully so as to avoid entering a terrain of unethical product positioning whilst still aligning neatly with consumer motivations.
Zhupanova notes: ‘An optimum strategy here would be for manufacturers to promote a holistic approach to a child’s image, placing the primary emphasis on babies’ health, wellbeing and happiness. Doing so will help parents avoid feeling overly pressured about their children’s image, while simultaneously preventing children from being obsessed with their looks from an early age.’
To further avoid being seen as encouraging image-consciousness among the youngest generation, brands need to focus on the emotive side of the product. For example, how it facilitates bonding between parents and children, as opposed to actually enhancing a child’s looks.
‘Launches such as the child-safe nail polish, for example, should be marketed as facilitating mother-daughter bonding, encouraging a healthier approach to a child’s perception of their own image,’ adds Zhupanova.