As a mom and marketer, I’m hyper aware of the 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 cognizant 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, vigilant yet yearning for mental freedom. And I need brands to realize this (despite being the first to admit that I’m a challenging target). As a mom, 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! Here are simple, yet meaningful pillars to keep in mind when reaching out to moms this year:
1. 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 help do some of the homework for them. 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.
2. It’s OK to not be OK.
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 Instagram…). They’re welcoming realism arms wide open.
It might not always be pretty, but it’s honest and freeing. Brands can win by not only challenging but abandoning completely 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 mothers are facing and remove any pressure they might feel (like how Kraft helped mom feel that it’s okay to serve kids mac and cheese for breakfast).
Mom needs brands she knows will support her no matter what—brands that, like her, aren’t afraid to celebrate imperfection these days.
3. One size does not fit all.
Moms are not a monolithic target. Inclusivity and personalization have become essential 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—not her category.
While brands can’t and shouldn’t be everything to everyone, they need to understand that tailored experiences are essential to meeting a mom’s needs.
4. 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 moms have faced over the last year—and the skepticism they still might feel—brands should not shy away from engaging with them. 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, senior vice president of Havas Formula’s Chicago division and a mom of two boys, has more than 15 years of experience spearheading creative, integrated PR programs.