Nursery Today magazine

It’s still a mum’s world says dads

Dads say that the babygear business needs to move with the times a new survey finds.

In a recent survey commissioned by Hippychick, a leading provider of nursery accessories based in Bridgwater, Somerset, 80% of dads think that baby brands and retailers value mums far more than dads in their approach to marketing.  40% of Dads also believe that in general, baby gear businesses are more likely to trust and take on a baby product developed by a mum rather than a dad. 

The survey was conducted exclusively amongst dads through ‘The Dad Network’ an organisation that aims to promote the role of dads in family life, and invited 253 responses. 68% were full time employed outside the home, 8% were full time dads and the others were a mixture of self-employed or unemployed. 

But baby businesses need to shift their perceptions as most dads are pretty hands on when it comes to parenting, even those who are employed full time outside the home.  44% of dads said they spent between 1 and 3 hours per day performing parental duties in the times that they are at home such as changing nappies, preparing meals and doing laundry.  29% said they spent even more –in some cases up to 5 hours per day. 

Hippychick, a company that has built its 4 million turnover business on products invented by parents for parents such as the Totseat, the Hipseat and most recently the Litecup – a cup that doubles up as a nightlight – has already woken up and smelt the coffee.  Hippychick Founder, Julia Minchin commented: ‘We are reliant on product innovation in order to keep ahead of the game in a very competitive marketplace. We already recognise that dads, because they take on so much of the parenting role, are equally capable of developing parenting innovations as mums.  One of our ranges is My Buggy Buddy.  It is the brainchild of two fathers, both of whom are ex-police offers and who spent many years on the front line in the Met Police.  Having witnessed on several occasions how easy it is for thieves to make off with a buggy, it was this that precipitated their ‘lightbulb moment’ – a simple combination lock which is universally affordable, effective and now one of Hippychick’s best sellers.’

Despite feeling neglected by brands, Dads are certainly confident in their self-worth and presentation skills.  If they were invited to pitch an invention they had dreamed up to the Dragon’s Den Panel, most dads (53%) said they would do it themselves rather than with a female counterpart as it would provide a point of difference and make them stand out from the crowd.    

However, 19% said they would bring along a female colleague, believing that a mum’s point of view would be pivotal in swaying the opinions of the dragons. 

64% of dads still think they get a raw deal when it comes to parenting generally and trying to fit their families around their work life – an overwhelming majority.  Only 13% were content with their lot. 

Al Ferguson, founder of the Dad Network, commented on the results of the survey: “It’s no secret that dads struggle immensely with the work-life balance and many dads long to spend more time with their children and despite the recent shocking statistics of Shared Parental Leave, many dads are trying to find ways of doing so. The parental market place is saturated with mums, so these stats come as no surprise, but it does beg the question, when are dads going to recognised as they should.”

Hippychick is inviting any parents – male or female - with new and exciting parenting ideas to come forward.  ‘The Hippychick door, as well as our minds, is always open and we’re much less scary than the dragons!’ said Julia.  ‘The only criteria are that products should be practical and make life easier for parents.’ Potential parent-preneurs should contact Hippychick at ideas@hippychick.com

 


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