How to be a family friendly brand

John Lewis, Pizza Express and Ikea have been named the UK’s most family friendly brands according to Mumsnet but the majority of companies are failing to win over the demographic.

The survey of 920 Mumsnet users ranked John Lewis top with 147 votes followed by Pizza Express (111) and Ikea (97).

Most (82%) respondents said it is very or quite important for high street retailers 83 to be family friendly, while 95% and 93% said the same for restaurants and supermarkets respectively.

Despite consumers having a clear view on what they want from family friendly brand, many are struggling to satisfy those demands. Two thirds (63%) of consumers feel brands need to work harder to appeal to families, an improvement on the 84% in 2011. Some 35% of respondents believe companies in the UK are “quite family friendly” but improvements to marketing, price and customer services could be made.

Customers said high street retailers should prioritise opening hours (42%), relevant products (44%) and facilities for families (40%) in order to enhance their reputations. For supermarkets, toilets with changing facilities (77%) and loyalty schemes (41%) were among those areas shoppers felt were key to a family friendly brand.

Additionally, CSR was seen as a priority by around a quarter of respondents for banking, financial services, food manufactures, household goods and toiletries.

It is not just the consumer-facing elements that are important to building a family-friendly brand. Internally, fewer people are saying their company “could not do more”. Only 13% revealed that their employer is very family friendly and could not do more, down from 23% in 2011. Nearly two thirds (62%) said that having an understanding line manager is the most important factor in making an employer family friendly.

The survey found that companies sporting the Mumsnet’s Family Friendly logo were more likely to be purchased by members of the online community. Over 80% of those polled said they would be more likely to purchase products or use the services of companies that are part of Mumsnet’s Family Friendly programme.

Mumsnet conducted survey, which was open to all its members, earlier this month.