This week Nursery Online had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Luisa Svensson, Graco UK’s Trade & Consumer Marketing Manager.
We started by asking Luisa how she would convince first time parents to choose Graco?
“The most important factor at the very start of the purchase journey is positive recommendation from other parents. This critical marketing starts well before the shop floor. Our products have to stand up to the test of family life and deliver excellent value-for-money so that parents will tell each other about Graco. Over the last 3 years we have worked very hard to differentiate our brand voice from within this very busy and competitive market. So that when parents start to research the brand and come to our social media platforms, they will engage with something noticeably different from other brands. Graco is a strongly relatable brand that uses humour and empathy to connect with our audience on social media.”
Graco boasts a wide and varied product range – which are the bestsellers and why?
“Turn2Me, our 360 spinning car seat, flies off the shelves because it’s exceptional value. Time and again reviewers tell us they can’t believe how good the product is for its price, and this has stood it in good stead since we launched it last year when it sold out within two weeks. Aside from that, our top of the range soother the All Ways Soother is a stand out leader. We also do very well with high back booster seats for older children. We know that parents struggle to keep older children in car seats, and our Junior Maxi does a great job at keeping children safe while appealing to the child.”
How can retailers become stockists of Graco – and how do you support or train independent retailers who wish to stock your products?
“We have a brilliant on-the-road team that look after our independent retailers, provide training and support instore. We also have an extensive digital library of instructions, video and still assets to access at all times and maximise sales potential. If you are interested in becoming a stockist please send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help!”
Today’s parents are more discerning than ever – how does Graco stay in line with current fashions and trends – and also sustainability? Dee Leonard, Head of Fashion for Graco EMEA explains:
“We plan new fashions a year in advance by tracking trends at the very start of the journey. I look at emerging trends in the catwalk shows because these will filter down into the high street. I keep a very close eye on which catwalk fashions make it into store, including what elements of the design has emerged, such as graphics being formulaic or irregular, hand-drawn designs, or co-ordinating colourways. We also see colours that are emerging as key trends on the catwalk, filter into the home, which is important to replicate for our home products. I interpret these trends into the Graco signature. Our latest fashion, Couture Fern was influenced by the catwalk, it’s been very well received by media and social influencers and no matter how long I have been planning this colourway, I still love it.”
Graco has strollers to suit a wide range of budgets. What are the key differences from the top to the bottom end?
“We work hard to bring innovation to our top of the range products while securing a keen price point for consumers. Near2Me is the perfect example of this with its Slide2Me technology that enables the seat unit to fix at different heights. It creates easier eye contact, works for taller carers and can bring the child up to a higher level when sitting at a table for improved interaction. Staying with our strollers, at a more entry level is TraveLite. An incredibly compact and light unit at only 7k, but with a solid feeling that reassures parents it is protecting their little ones. The £70 price point is very attractive to parents looking for an easy and accessible solution.”
Graco is a long-standing brand. How has it stayed true to its original founding principles AND embraced growth?
“Thank you, yes we are incredibly proud of our heritage, starting 69 years ago when our founder Rex Thomas invented the ‘Swyngomatic’ – an automatic baby swing for his own children. Graco is a significant brand in the US and as a global brand its very important that the UK market upholds its key ethos, which is to create products made for children and loved by parents. We work hard to ensure that the brand stays relevant to the UK consumer.
We continually research contemporary life and ask parents what they need, and we always place their children at the very centre of our product development.”
What three words would you use to describe Graco?
“Trustworthy, relevant, thoughtful.”
Can you share any specific plans or developments for the year ahead?
“The coming months are very busy launching two brand new solutions to keep baby safe while at home and when travelling. Hot on the heals of these launches we embark on a high profile travel campaign and coming early Autumn is another brand campaign. All we can tell you about this campaign is that it marks a removal from anything you have previously seen from Graco and we are all incredibly excited about it.”