Thursday, July 12, 2007

Which formula company loves me best?

Those who know me well may be surprised to find I gave my name and due date to all three major formula companies. After all, I'm a dedicated supporter of breastfeeding. Heck, I returned to work with a pump over my arm and nursed Z for a full year.

But the marketer in me knows that no one's mastered direct mail and relationship marketing quite like the baby milk manufacturers. By signing up for their "clubs,' I get to see their techniques up close and personal. And I get free coupons and samples which I can pass along to friends or put to use when I eventually start supplementing!

To even the playing field, I signed up for Similac's Welcome Addition Club, Enfamil Family Beginnings and Nestle Good Start's Very Best Baby in the same manner, online. I joined each program on February 3rd, and I honestly answered their surveys (second child, breastfeeding with some supplementation, due date of July 14...)

All three programs sent me periodic emails on pregnancy and baby's development, most of which I dutifully ignored. Then the good stuff came. Nestle was first to my mailbox with a cardbox mailer containing two high-value formula checks and a DVD on baby care. I passed the checks along to a neighbor since I've never used Nestle and they didn't have generous expiration dates anyway. But my two year old likes nothing better than to watch the somewhat clinical film's chapters on diapering, bathing and soothing baby. Go figure!

A month or so later I got package from Similac containing more formula checks and two small sample cartons of Similac--regular and soy. I'm sure I'll end up giving the soy formula away since I never used it with Z.

But the best came last: today Enfamil delivered two full size canisters of Enfamil Lipil along with a formula check and the requisite pamphlet on feeding.

So I'm going to have to conclude that Enfamil loves me best. At least until I check into West Suburban Hospital, which has a contract with Similac. Meaning I'll likely get more samples and an ugly diaper bag upon checkout.

And if last go round was any indication, the love doesn't end with birth. I can expect to receive formula checks in the mail for a year!