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Tricks and Treats: Halloween means big opportunities for marketers

One of the biggest joys for new moms comes around holiday time, and that doesn’t just mean in December. Halloween is expected to capture the attention of more than 170 million people this year, according to a new study from the National Retail Federation. From costumes to decorations to candy, Halloween brings a renewed sense of excitement and energy for a new mom – because it takes on new meaning. Now, it’s about her child. It’s about the magic and wonder that Halloween will offer for years to come. It’s about how, as a mom, she can deliver memorable experiences for her child year over year. And with that, it’s a holiday that’s ripe with opportunities for brands and retailers.

Take costumes for example. New moms won’t just want a costume for their new bundle of joy – they’ll want the perfect costume. And they’ll be ready to shell out the dollars for it. Families are expected to spend slightly more on costumes in 2012, with total spending expected to hit $1.1 billion, according to a survey by BigInsights. Brands and retailers can capitalize on that by thinking about what costumes will resonate most with new moms, suggesting those ideas to moms in the places they are most likely to see them (online, in-store, social networks, Pinterest boards) and then providing easy access to them at reasonable prices. Any little bonuses like a free with purchase “My First Halloween” memento, onesie or pair of socks just might do the trick (pun intended).

Beyond costumes, though, brands and retailers that really understand a new mom’s mindset might think about simple packaging or product innovations that could capture a portion of the forecasted $8 billion in consumer Halloween spending.

  • How about “trick-or-treat” sized, Halloween-themed, baby-friendly snacks? Whole grain puffs, Cheerios, teething biscuits and other baby-friendly treats would likely fly off the shelves and into the carts of consumers.
  • Halloween pajamas, bibs, pacifiers, cups, bottles, and blankets… the possibilities are endless for brands and retailers who offer these kinds of holiday items at smart prices.
  • A baby sling with customizable fabric patterns that fit holiday occasions, like Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas might resonate with new moms who want to quietly get in on the holiday fun.
  • A “My First Halloween” picture frame that comes free with purchase of a costume or other Halloween-related purchases.
  • A cross-promotion with a clothing retailer selling costumes and an online photo site like Shutterfly or Snapfish could mean additional consumer dollars spent at both.

The possibilities are endless. How is your brand going to become part of a new mom’s Halloween plans?