creative haberdashery

Mom’s 3-part brand story

mother-and-childAll advertisers have two brand stories to consider: 1.) their own, and 2.) the brand story of their target audience. The objective, of course, is to make your brand story part of your customer’s brand story. But when it comes to marketing to moms, do we truly understand the story we’re trying to become part of? Is a lack of deeper insight responsible for peanut butter ads that say essentially the same thing as they did 50 years ago? Here are three insights into the mom-market’s true brand story:

1.            Moms are primal

Deep in our nature is the instinct to protect and defend our young. This is the part of the brand story that marketers so often assume is the whole story. The qualities of love and caring are here. So are traits such as over protectiveness and competitiveness. If mom complains to the soccer coach that her cub is not getting enough playing time, she is tapping into the primal part of her brand story. The same is true if she rushes out onto the field in concern when her cub falls down. Or insists on organic oranges at halftime. Love. Protect. Defend. All primal.

2.            Moms are individuals

It’s a mistake to paint anyone, including moms, with a broad brush. Before they were moms, these women were individuals, with their own likes, dislikes and personal brand stories. Being a mom has added a new paragraph, but no one hit the delete key. Women can no more walk away from their sense of self than they can ignore their primal instincts. Don’t forget that moms are people first, moms second. How might this layer of complexity change the way you talk to the mom-market? How do you speak to both their mom-selves and their individual-selves?

3.            Moms have moms

Moms are not born; they are made over time, beginning with their own experiences as a mother’s child. The lessons they learned about mothering are part of who they are and how they approach the role. Thus the ad that begins, “Today’s moms,” is off the mark. “Today’s moms” were raised on the lessons of the moms before them, who were raised on the lessons of moms before them, and so on. Moms don’t spring from thin air. Every mom also had a mom, whether that was a biological mom, a big sister-mom, a dad-mom, or another mom-like role model.

That moms as a whole are loving, caring and protective is not a brand story. It is simply one subset of a bigger story that reveals moms in all their complexities. What might we discover with a deeper dive into mom’s brand story? How can we insert our brand into hers? Who knows: it might even lead to a new way to speak to her about peanut butter.


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cindi acker-hein

cindi acker-hein

writer + creative partner
I love my work: teaming up with awesome creatives. Word nerdery. Problem solving. Simplifying. Intelligenting. Learning. Seeking FTA, SOH, PR.Read more...


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