Perspective: “Word of Mom” is the No. 1 Driver of Toy Purchases

Toy Association member Tinybeans shares curated insights into how millennial parents consider purchases for their children

April 15, 2019 | As part of Toy News Tuesday’s “Perspective” series that spotlights the people and companies who help drive the business of toys, we recently caught up with Grady Edelstein, head of brand partnerships at Tinybeans. Edelstein shared topline findings from the company’s January 2018 survey of nearly 750 millennial parents with children ages 0 to 5. Findings were shared in Tinybeans’ white paper, “Word of Mom Research Series: Building Trust with Millennial Parents.” Here’s what she had to say ….

What is Tinybeans?

Edelstein: Tinybeans aims to help families by connecting them with the right “thing” at the right time, whether that is a product, service, person, or relevant article to their needs. For instance, when a child is about to start the transition to solid foods, parents are looking for recommendations on high chairs, bibs, baby food, and other products to purchase as well as tips and advice to make the process less stressful and more enjoyable for baby and mom.  By providing a place where users can share and learn about the best products and experiences through curated content, tips, and recommendations, Tinybeans’ 3.2 million members can spend less time searching the Internet and more time connecting with their families.  

To help brands learn more about families and how to effectively market to them, we’ve recently launched Tinybeans Trends & Insights Lab. Using big data-AI capabilities, we can assist brands in shaping their go-to-market strategy and consumer discovery by identifying general trends in our “Word of Mom” white paper series.

What does “word of mom” mean?

Edelstein: The most valued recommendations are from those who are on a parallel parenting journey (i.e. someone with a child roughly the same age or same developmental stage). With all of the choices in-store and online, purchasing new products for their child is a major stress point for 1 in 3 parents. When it comes to toys, we found that 55 percent of millennial parents are likely to trust product recommendations from a mom (or dad) friend, making it the No. 1 category powered by “word of mom.”

How can toy companies use this information to their advantage? 

Edelstein: Brands that show themselves to be a partner and resource on the parenting journey — essentially a “mom friend”— will be the most successful. Our report found over half of millennial parents want brands to engage them with relevant content and help them on their parenting and purchase journey, but not just at the point-of-sale, offering plenty of opportunity for brands to deepen their connection with their customers. Brand trust must be built up throughout the entire purchase journey and, ideally, when they are in their child/family mindset, according to 40 percent of parents surveyed. The pay-off: trust translates to dollars. More than half of millennial parents will pay more for a product from a brand they trust.  

How can companies find out more information about Tinybeans’ research?

Edelstein: Companies are welcome to view our white paper online or contact me at

Got a story to tell? Toy Association member companies interested in being featured in an upcoming Toy New Tuesday article may submit ideas to Laurie Chartorynsky.