Born Consumers

It is a widely accepted notion that a fetus, while in their mother’s womb, will respond to external stimuli.  Countless maternity books encourage listening to music, reading and even talking to your unborn child to further development of the neural system.   However, exposing your unborn baby to such stimuli will not only ensure they have a natural affinity or aptitude for certain types of activities, but it could also hard wire them for brand loyalty.

When an expecting mother is engrossed in an activity that she likes, certain hormones are released and the unborn baby learns to respond favorably to the same activities.  For example, if your mother enjoyed listening to Bach while pregnant with you, and her hormones responded favorably, there is a high likelihood that you, too, will like Bach.

A study conducted by Peter Hepper of Queens University found that newborn babies demonstrated a preference to TV theme songs that their mothers listened to while pregnant.  Though it is very difficult to conduct fetal research and findings are limited, many suggest it is actually possible to condition a baby to favorably respond to certain jingles and theme songs, and thus are more inclined to form an attachment to it.

Moreover, the food that pregnant women have an affinity for also shapes the child’s appetite and eating behavior later in life.  Food is not just about nourishing a child’s development, it’s about shaping a human’s consumer behavior.  Studies conducted at Harvard, Colorado School of Medicine and the British Journal of Nutrition are all in affirmation of this theory.

Marketers are now taking this information and weaving it into their strategies.  Suddenly, expectant mothers are a huge opportunity, not only for short-term strategies, (studies suggest the hormones involved in pregnancy make women more susceptible to emotional marketing appeals) but in terms of building brand loyalty of future generations.   Now that is some powerful stuff.

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