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The Baby Products Association increased its presence at Harrogate International Nursery Fair and the team took advantage of the opportunity to network with its members and other key industry players.
The Car Seat Advice Centre hosted by the Association with participation from Cybex and Maxi-Cosi provided valuable information to visitors regarding car seats in general with particular emphasis on the new car seat regulations which has caused much confusion to date. In addition, exhibitors and visitors joined in celebration as the Baby Products Association announced the winners of its Concept and Innovation Awards and Baby and Nursery Trade Awards (BANTAs).
Lisa Walford of Baby Safe Ltd was announced as winner of the Concept Award for Safe Sleep Seat – a baby car seat that reclines by remote control; and Lucy Bostock of More-2-Explore for Adventure Belt – a fun safety belt to keep parents connected to their children when out an about in busy areas. These were both presented with trophies by Sara Ludlam of 3volution – official sponsor which will be offering the winners free legal advice.
A full list of BANTA winners, highly commended and short-listed products can be seen HERE.
The Association organised the show’s seminar programme with a great line up of speakers including Nadia Khaldi of Generation Media who explained different types of mothers and how best to communicate marketing messages to them.
Leading market research company, GfK, has been providing the industry with valuable commercial information as part of the Baby Products Association’s seminars for a number of years and Anthony Williams gave us all an insight into the 2017 market. He noted that parents are feeling the economic pressure with inflation creeping up and there was a decline in January and February 2017 sales. However, he also noted that retailers can benefit from the 10 percent rule resulting in an uplift in sales from a 10 percent discount as consumer decision making is becoming more budget centric.
Sara Ludlam of 3volution explained the importance of registering designs and trademarks and how if the process is not carried out correctly, claims of copying could be rejected by the court. She also advised the audience to always claim copyright for brands, websites and company names and this is a simple process that can be carried out by the individuals themselves.
Phil Staunton of D2M helps new businesses with product development from the initial idea to getting it to market including help with product design, prototypes, testing and production. He described the journey of one client with OmniO Rider – a compact pushchair that can be carried like a backpack, and how D2M helped the inventor on its journey to market.
Harriet Shearsmith of Toby & Roo, one of the UK’s leading parenting bloggers, explained how companies can maximise their marketing by working with social influencers. Harriet has over 60,000 highly engaged followers on Instagram and works with major companies such as Amazon. She believes that whilst it is important for brands to use a number of social media platforms to get their message to consumers, the leading sites are Instagram and Facebook. Harriet also mentioned that whilst there are many parenting ‘hobby’ bloggers who are happy to work with brands, for guaranteed results, it is better for companies to work with professional social media influencers and also to check that the followers and engagement statistics that they quote are actually correct.