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Moms: “Don’t Box Me In”

MomLife is an Incite series that tells the tale of a mom’s experiences, starting with the introspective, because there’s lots to see here, as well as taking it to the great big world around us. We hope to impart insights that you’ll find useful as you build your brand’s Mom Strategy.

Let’s start with titles. You know, the stereotypical boxes people get placed into that forever define and patronize them. Putting all moms in a box is a flawed approach because there are hundreds of types of moms.

Moms are one of the more challenging consumers for brands to talk to, because just like their kids, everyone is different. Some marketers simply start and stop at distinguishing working moms versus stay at home moms. No, that’s not good enough – thank you #MomWars.

But, what’s forgotten is that mom was a female consumer first. Having a child is just another layer. What about the other layers? When people look at me, they see Emma’s Mom, or Jack’s Mom, which I love, but other identifiers are just as important. And I find that brands that recognize this key point get my loyalty.

I am a career mom, who happens to work from home. Did that just blow your mind? Women are changing the workforce every day and rewriting old rules. Moms are scientists, accountants, business-owners, teachers, doctors. Does their title make a difference to you?

I’m mom to a girl. And that mom is sometimes different from when I’m mom to my boys. Very different. Which is why #momlife is so complicated.

I’m mom to young kids, but not infants. The mom I was when I had my first child is in the rearview mirror. My kids can dress themselves, ask for things incessantly and thankfully can put their own shoes on. My #momlife is completely different from a newborn mom’s because it’s not consumed with keeping them alive. It’s more about guiding, teaching and refereeing. That said, there couldn’t be a bigger difference between a first-time mom and a three-time mom. And there is nothing wrong with either, except I would tell my first-time self to settle down a bit :)

Moms are wives, daughters, caregivers, friends and partners. They are running the show from an office desk, from home, with help or not. They thoroughly enjoy the wonder of breastfeeding, or not.

The good news for brands is that, at the end of the day, there are threads that unite us. That’s what makes us a community.

So, if you want to help your brand get it right, start with a few exercises. What kind of moms does your business help?

The Helicopter or Free Range. The older mom or young mom. The mom of multiple kids or one. The mom that works in an office or who stays at home? The mom that makes organic baby food or the mom who relies heavily on the pouches. The mom that also loves to hike or the mom who used to read every night (a lovely memory).

For those keeping track, this mom is:

- The oldest of 4 Siblings

- Boston Born

- College Grad

- A mom of three

- Career mom working from home

- A Business Owner

- A mom who loves to cook, but not bake

- A Helicopter Mom

- A Type “A” Mom

- A Volunteer Mom

- A Realist

What would your message be to me? #MomLife. It’s complicated because we are comprised of many layers. But, those that look past the stereotypical and dated categorization of mom will gain the most for their businesses. Don’t box mom in – you’ll reap the rewards.

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