image of a baby lying on a black and white sheet in a crib with a baby monitor above

Nanit’s app-based baby monitor taps into the Millennial parent mindset.

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It is no secret that health and wellness technology is having its moment. As millennials and Gen Z enter parenthood, the race is on to capture what is now the largest U.S. consumer spending base. Is health and well-being the path to do it?

One company laying claim to the cross-section of health, well-being and consumer technology geared to this new modern parent is NYC-based tech startup Nanit.

Nanit entered the market in 2016 with a premium high tech baby monitor that in no small part set the stage for what is the smart baby monitor category we see today.  The company was the first to introduce an HD camera overhead for a bird’s-eye view of the baby and use computer vision technology to help parents see and hear everything that happens in and around a baby’s crib.

I use a Nanit baby monitor in my home, so I’ve been following the company for the past few years.  When I got the opportunity to connect with Nanit’s CEO Sarah Dorsett, I was fascinated both as a parent and marketer to learn about the evolution of the company and how their latest technology is furthering the health tech movement for new parents.

Millennial parents want real-time data

As a parent, smart gadgets and connected devices can certainly play a major role in easing some of the stresses and uncertainty during the first few months of a child’s life. 

New parents today are more comfortable with technology, and in general they consume data and information via the digital space.  According to Dorsett, “This generation of parents grew up with smartphones, smart watches, social media and everything else—so using a traditional monitor didn’t fit with their tech-driven lifestyle.”  

Nanit launched and scaled over the past few years by pioneering a new way of offering personalized insights into child development that parents could not get from traditional monitors. They gained market share by introducing innovative solutions to make parenting easier and that are natural extensions of the tech they are using on a daily basis.

They attribute much of their success to the uniqueness and innovation of their flagship product, the Nanit camera, now in its second generation, and to the right product-market fit with Millennial parents by listening to them and addressing their needs.

Health monitoring for the youngest family members

The notion of one’s well-being and self-care was a major priority for Millennial parents even before the pandemic. “Nanit was always designed as a part of the health and wellness sector, providing real-time data and information about a baby’s health and well-being in between doctor visits,” says Dorsett. 

“Unlike traditional baby monitors, we offer an easy way to see but also track how your baby is doing—from how well they are sleeping, to their real-time breaths per minute, and now their height,” said Dorsett.

The company is releasing a new textile called Smart Sheets along with its newest camera the Nanit Pro, which will hit retail stores nationally later this month. Similar to the company’s line of wearable apparel that tracks a baby’s breathing motion, Smart Sheets uses the ink pattern on the crib sheet to measure a baby’s height using the computer vision technology in the Nanit camera. Parents can see a real-time reading of their baby’s height in the Nanit app, and can then store those measurements and track growth progress over time.

“We are helping parents learn about their baby and alleviate some of their anxieties by providing a picture of their baby’s overall growth and progression,” says Dorsett.

Fostering connection through tech

The onset of Covid-19 has disrupted our everyday lives and shifted how we connect with those outside our immediate household. Many new parents and those with young toddlers found that the “village” and resources they once had access to had suddenly vanished. This presented an opportunity for connected technology and companies like Nanit to fill the void. 

Dorsett shared that during the first few months of the pandemic, their customer service and marketing teams were seeing an uptick in queries and feedback on features and aspects of the product that were not usually what made Nanit’s baby monitor stand out.  “The concept of ‘keeping families connected’ really rose to the top, because we had proof points in our product that were very valuable in this new world,” she said.

Things like two-way audio, automatically capturing precious moments, and adding users to the Nanit account became priority features “because it meant that grandma and grandpa could interact directly with their grandbaby even if they couldn’t be there,” said Dorsett.  “They could see the baby, talk to them through the two-way audio feature and see how the new parents are faring.”

The company even went so far as to extend additional users to their customers for free, so that they could add other friends and family into the parenting team. Tuning in to the customers’ needs and offering meaningful value are what solidify the connection for millennial consumers to become lifelong brand loyalists.

Innovating with intention

Millennial parents and the next wave of Gen Z soon-to-be parents have a strong interest in health and wellness. They want data-driven information and are more comfortable purchasing DTC brands and subscriptions that deliver a frictionless digital solution they can access and use on their phones. 

Nanit tapped into the Millennial mindset using an app-based monitor, but they also want to drive deeper engagement by connecting parents.

“We have an amazing and rapidly growing community of users, so a big part of 2021 is about facilitating ways to connect them to each other—in our Nanit way of course, through data, insight and technology. It’s what we do best,” says Dorsett.

There are endless opportunities for companies like Nanit, both now and in the future, to shape the connection between parents and their child’s development using technology.

Dorsett understands what it takes for her company to stay ahead of the pack while continuing to stay relevant to the millennial parent. She said her team believes that “as smart products progress to mass adoption, companies must ensure that the ‘smart’ continues to evolve as much as the technology.”

With their newest product launch and strategy for the year ahead, it seems that is exactly what Nanit is on track to do.

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Roland Millaner