Hi there, What’s In Store fans! It’s your BFF, Megan. I recently sat down to chat with the fine folks behind the oh-so-stylish baby sunglasses line, Babiators. Now, I personally don’t have a baby (sorry, mom), but I do have friends who are moms, and I know that finding sunglasses that both protect their kids’ eyes and look cute are hard to come by. Plus, I was a baby once, and that counts for something, right?
Babiators launched 7 years ago when founders and longtime friends Molly and Ted Fienning and Carolyn and Matthew Guard realized how difficult it was to find cool, durable shades for little ones. Molly shared that her team was inspired by Ted, an aviator for the Marine Corps, to create “baby aviators”—or Babiators—“for all the stylish kiddos out there.”
With more than 1.3 million pairs sold, Babiators are the leading children’s sunglasses brand. The glasses are made from a durable rubber built to withstand the rough and tumble adventures of any child. Plus, they’re BPA-free and offer 100% UV protection. The Babiators team has steadily continued to grow their business over the past few years, and they attribute much of their success to how they’ve been able to stay true to their brand and, subsequently, their customers.
Here’s how this baby-loving brand has successfully strengthened loyalty with their fans:
Taking the time to understand what your customers want and need from a product is the best way to earn their trust and loyalty. This is especially true for the Babiators audience, which is primarily parents shopping on behalf of their children. Molly and her team decided they should go straight to the source to understand what parents are looking for in children’s sunglasses.
As she recalls, “Before we launched Babiators, we surveyed hundreds of parents to hear their feedback on existing sunglasses in the marketplace.” In addition to concerns about UV rays and eye safety, “a large group of parents wrote about the frustration of losing the shades they had recently purchased for a son or daughter.”
The team used these insights to take tangible steps to address their customers’ needs.
Staying true to your company’s mission can help you solidify your core consumer.
Here’s Molly when I asked her how her business has changed over the last few years: “Ironically, our organization has evolved by returning to our core focus. A few years into the business, we sought to grow by expanding the Babiators product line beyond shades, which took our attention and bandwidth away from the best-selling product: the sunglasses. We decided as a group to return to making and selling our shades well and caring for our fans and customers.”
The team ultimately decided to simplify the product line, increase profitability, and focus on keeping the Babiators community happy with safe, stylish sunglasses—and top-notch customer service, of course.
Once Babiators understood that their customers were looking for a solution to lost or broken sunglasses, the team used this as an opportunity to differentiate themselves in the market.
“We decided to solve that problem with our Lost & Found Guarantee,” Molly explains. “If a customer breaks or loses his or her Babiators, we replace them for free within 1 year of purchase.”
This guarantee has reinforced the company’s commitment to its customers and has resulted in an army of vocal brand advocates. And those people far outweigh the monetary value it takes to replace the sunglasses.