Milupa is the first milk formula brand that enter the Romanian market after 1989. For many years, it has been the market leader, but this is no longer the case. Year by year, Milupa is losing market share. In the last 4 years alone, it lost over 7%. In order to stop this trend, in 2016, the company upgraded the product formula, increasing its quality and efficiency, while also launching a new communication campaign “Happiness starts in the tummy”. This new platform highlighted the importance of digestive health, saying that babies with less digestive problems are happier. The ad was fun, showing a baby dancing.
Based on the research data, we knew that:
- Medical recommendation is the first most important driver for choosing a brand over the other
- Before the first 6 months, 24% of users exit the category, usually in favor of cow milk.
- After 12 months, up to 65% of users stop using the baby formula, due to diversification process.
However, in terms of medical recommendation, Milupa only had a 15% share of voice, so its source of growth could only come from more mothers directly buying the product.
The 2016 relaunch, while an extensive company effort, was not enough to stop the brand decline. Therefore, the brief challenge was to:
- Find a new communication platform that better fit modern moms
- Increase brand awareness
- Restart brand growth
General Information:
Strategy: We started our strategy work with an empathy process. We interviewed 12 mothers from our target group, trying to better understand their worries, pain points, tensions, drivers and also the key moments in baby’s development. Based on these, we developed empathy maps and user personas, and reached a couple of significant conclusions:
- All baby commercial, Milupa included, communicate in a high spirited manner, showcasing motherhood as a fun time between mother and the baby. However, for the first year, at least, mothers experience a wide range of negative emotions – like fear of killing the baby, anxiety, constant self-doubt and a feeling of isolation from other family members and even friends.
- Furthermore, they have a strong connection with the baby, understanding his needs better than fathers do. So they frequently used the verbatim “a mother knows”.
- During baby growth, mothers mentioned some key moments, but we could notice the pattern of “the first” – like first bath, the first words, first steps or first solid food meal.
Based on these highly emotional data that we have collected, we implemented significant changes in the brand architecture.
- First, we have developed a new positioning for the brand. We ditched the “happiness” messages and decided to position Milupa as a real help for mothers, a daily support for their difficult job. We reduced the brand role and made it more authentic – as a support for mothers, not as a solve-it-all. In this regard, we decided to create actual tools that mothers could use, instead of simple brand messages.
- After this, we took another complex strategic decision, based on the consumer reports that showed two age milestones for the exit out of the category: baby turning 6 months and baby turning 1. Thus, we decided to increase the life-time-value of our consumers, by determining them to stay longer with the product. This is why the hero product was Milupa Junior (for kids over 1 year old)
- The third strategic pillar was related to the campaign itself. We went digital-only and we built it around three micro-moments from the baby’s life: first tooth, first step and start of diversification. These micro-moments were specifically selected to be of high emotional relevance for mothers and close to the milestones when they usually decide to leave the formula.

Because we wanted an honest, authentic, simple campaign, we created a new communication platform – called “Mummy knows” (Mami știe). This way, our message would be more personal and more relevant for the mothers, showing them that Milupa does understand their emotions and anxieties.
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