Humans are social creatures. They have an innate desire to be with others. To belong.
Facebook, Skype, Twitter are technologies that have tapped into this basic human need. Developing services that are creating a more social world of interactions. A world where it’s easy to find and tap into a group of likeminded people no matter how niche the topic of interest may be. And in this social world of interactions, consumers are less and less interested in brand relationships. Instead they are more satisfied with relationships with other people. Case in point, Millennials and the fact that they’re less materialistic than generations past.
This focus on social interactions and desire for “human” interactions has ushered in a new era for marketers: The Era of the Kinship Economy. A time when marketers are freely calling out relationships between people rather than relationships between brands and consumers in their advertising. They are still talking about their brands. But instead of just listing out product or experiential attributes, brands that have embraced the Kinship Economy are talking about social attributes. Brand is secondary to the social attribute it’s touting to the consumer. And these social attributes are turning into compelling sources of differentiation for these brands. Check out work from Publix and Budweiser where relationships are front and center.
Here are 3 simple exponential ideas that can springboard your brand into the Kinship Economy.
Brands, don’t flatter yourselves, you’re not connecting with the Millennial Mom. In order to make purposeful connections with the Millennial Mom, you first need to really understand what makes this mom tick and then create communications that resonate. The word “communications” is meant to be broad, as just creating an advertising campaign won’t convince her. She can see through the smoke and mirrors. She’s looking beyond the advertising campaign and into the soul of the companies she chooses for herself and her family.
So, who is this powerful woman and what do you need to know about her to engage her and have her on your brand’s side?
The Millennial Mom was born sometime between 1977 and 1998. She was raised in a child-centric time by Boomers, remembers 9/11 and is surviving a tumultuous economy. She has different values than previous generations’ moms and she chooses companies on different criteria. She is highly educated (most educated generation to date), self-confident, tech-savvy and ambitious. Education, technology and the feminist voice of her parents’ generation have made her feel empowered. She’s comfortable with rewriting the rules to create what fits her and her lifestyle the best. Since the Internet launched in her coming-of-age, she is a natural multi-tasker who uses technology to her advantage. She’s seeking stability and control. She’s pragmatic, loyal and optimistic. She really will give you the benefit of the doubt but she’s skeptical that you can’t or won’t follow through. You can call her an Optimistic Realist. She values tradition and talks to her mom almost every day on her cell phone. She celebrates diversity (after all, Millennials are the most racially diverse generation group) and is more accepting and less judgemental–especially of other moms and their parenting choices. And most importantly to her, she’s really into being Mom. The sense of connectivity and joy family brings is key to what today’s Millennial Mom is after.
Her key influencers: her mom and/or mom-like figures, other moms in her social circle, online moms in forums, search, tradition, nostalgia, her kids.
So, with this in mind, here are some strategies on how your brand can evolve to better engage the heart, mind and wallet of the Millennial Mom:
What are other strategies for connecting with the Millennial Mom?
A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force and a Planner’s strength flows from embracing these 6 essential habits.
Anticipate: ask “what’s possible?;” practice peripheral vision
Think Critically: question everything; reframe problems; challenge current beliefs/processes
Interpret: don’t assume (you know what assuming will cause); synthesize info before forming a viewpoint; be rational; build and test your hypothesis
Decide: avoid “analysis paralysis by: using process to your benefit, not worrying about perfection and taking and owning a stand
Align: foster open dialogue & build trust; take time to really understand others’ agendas; don’t bury tough issues instead bring them to the surface and hash them out
Learn: continually grow and improve and don’t ever think that you’re too good to get better
Thanks for the reminder, Inc. Now, go forward and use the force.