Thu, 06 May 2021 13:00:00 GMT
As a mom and marketer, I (over) analyse brand communications directed to me, my kids and my family. Are they authentic? Are they relatable? Are they ownable? Now, more than ever, I’m especially cognisant of what brands are saying to me and how they are saying it. Like many other moms, I am juggling multiple responsibilities. I’m tired but also hopeful, scrutinous yet yearning for mental freedom. And I need brands to realise this (despite being the first to admit that I’m a challenging target!). Wearing my mom hat, I’m looking for brands to deliver a combination of realism and optimism with a “dash” of safety and support. Easy enough, right? Actually, yes! These are simple yet meaningful pillars to keep in mind—and simplicity speaks volumes right now.
We are your partner.
Mom is strong, but she can also struggle at times. Brands should take note that she needs an ally that understands what she’s going through and has her back. They need to be “in it” with mom, making her feel less alone. In addition, while mom knows a lot, she’s still always on the hunt for answers and advice—and she craves guidance from experts, friends and even brands. That’s why it’s important not to talk at mom; instead, be a resource and unique voice at the table for her, providing information that’s credible, meaningful and useful. Moms need brands to do the homework for her. Postpartum brand Frida is a shining example of a true partner to mom that educates, entertains and supports (while selling premium products)—all in one.
It’s okay to not be okay.
Long gone are the days of perfectionism—especially after the last year we’ve endured. And more and more moms are recognizing this reality (in public, on the ‘Gram…). In fact, they’re welcoming realism arms wide open. It may not always be pretty, but it’s honest and freeing. Brands can win by not only challenging but abandoning the notion of perfection. Dove did this back in 2017 with the debut of its #RealMoms campaign, and Babyganics has taken on a similar role to embrace imperfection. Brands should also acknowledge the current and complex situations and emotions mom is facing and remove any pressure she may feel (like how Kraft ensured mom it’s okay to serve kids mac and cheese for breakfast). Mom needs brands she can relate to and those she knows will support her no matter what—brands that, like her, aren’t afraid to celebrate imperfection these days.
One size does not fit all.
Mom is not a one-size-fits-all target. Inclusivity and personalization have become must-dos for every brand looking to deeply connect with this audience. Customized offerings and authentic messaging are important for establishing and fostering relationships with mom, who wants a brand to get her and not her category. While brands can’t and shouldn’t be everything to everyone, they need to realize tailored experiences are essential to meet her needs.
The future’s bright.
For better or worse, our lives have fundamentally changed - but they must go on. Mom is ready to move forward, so be a brand that helps her do so. The brands that are going to win are flexible, can adapt to any situation and are looking toward the future. Most importantly, they are embracing the passions mom has, championing the causes she supports and helping her through any fears she still may have. According to a recent GfK (Growth from Knowledge) market study, 80% of surveyed moms reported that the way brands behave and engage with them during the pandemic will affect future purchasing decisions.
Despite the challenges mom has faced over the last year and the scepticism she still may feel, brands should not shy away from engaging with her. In fact, it’s quite the opposite—to which I can attest from being on both sides. Brands have a huge opportunity to create lasting impressions and win a significant share of hearts and wallets through the right communications…so speak up.
Tara Reid is senior vice president of Havas Formula’s Chicago division