Mum’s are often the target of marketing for parents. Mums still typically make the main decisions over parenting matters and tend to have the most involvement, however there are a growing number of dads who are starting to have a greater influence over these choices.
Gen Z and millennial parents, both mums and dads are consciously investing more time into their kids to encourage the value of time spent with family as opposed to time spent working. There is a perception that parents are struggling to find time to be with their children, but our data shows the time spent together is actually increasing for both mums and dads; with any spare time consciously invested in their children.
We have seen great examples of this in our data, for instance dads are increasingly spending more time at baby and toddler groups, attending sessions that used to be more traditionally attended by mums. They are also just as likely to attend baby yoga as mums are, and 10% of dads have also attended a baby dance class in the last six months. Dads are less likely today to be bothered by the more traditional masculine ‘norms’ society can often impose on them, and so they tend to be much more driven by the rewards given both emotionally and personally by spending time with their children.
When it comes to leisure time, both mums and dads spend most time playing with toys and games with their children, followed by watching TV. However, where mums are spending time reading with their children, dads are enjoying playing outdoors.
Thinking about shopping, price and quality are the main drivers of choice for dads, price the greatest influencer over smaller purchases, with quality leading over larger items that their child needs, or practical products like feeding equipment for a baby. Dads are much less likely than mums to be influenced by their child, or by friends and family when it comes to making child related purchases; coming to their own conclusions over quality. Even when making choices over Nurseries and Schools, dads are considering quality over anything else, whereas a mum is much more driven by family and friends’ recommendations.
In relation to brands, whilst practicality is important, dads are also considering fashion and named brands, much more so than mums. For example, when we look at shoe brands, mums consider Clarks, Asda and Next to be the top 3 footwear brands for their children, indicating quality and price to be driving factors. Clarks is also the top choice for dads too, however Nike and Adidas come in 2nd and 3rd; both being brands that have sporting heritage with men.
Something we have seen a stark rise in over the last year is the use of Blogs as a source of information for dads; driven in part by the emergence of more dad bloggers. Popular blogs for dads are DadBlogUK, Dadacool and The Oliver’s Madhouse. Where mums prefer mum bloggers (The Unmumsy Mum and Giovanna Fletcher), dads are increasingly finding support and reference from dads in similar positions.
This small snapshot into the life of today’s modern dad, highlights how much things have changed in the last few years. Where the role of the father was once breadwinner and disciplinarian, it is now much more involved and nurturing. There are many more ways we can engage with dads, be it via specific parenting sites and blogs, or in the outside world at baby events and classes. They want to be engaged and be part of the parenting decisions; making sure they hold influence when it comes to the care of their children.
This is a brief snapshot of Parents Insights capabilities, but it’s clear the attitudes, behaviours and consumption of young parents are changing significantly.
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