What Moms Really Think With The Arrival Of Autumn

by , Oct 21, 2011, 9:00 AM
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When marketers think of moms and fall, the automatic association is with “Back to School”—after all, it’s a vital decision period for family purchases. But is that all that moms are focused on when fall is in full swing?

To find out what moms are thinking of when the fall season approaches, we leveraged our Moms Pulse, a social listening tool, and tapped into the mommy network across the U.S. and U.K. Turns out, after sifting through thousands of unprompted conversations, back to school is far from the only topic on moms’ minds.

Much more than just “Back to School”

As the Moms Pulse uncovered, back to school is only one dimension of the fall season that gets moms excited. While the topic boasts high social buzz, it is brimming with promotional activity and marketing-driven content. The tone is practical and the message is centered on the kids while mom is prepping herself for her superhero role in the back to school craze.

Fall is a celebration of the senses 

The sights, smells, sounds and tastes of fall trigger a powerful sense of joy, nostalgia and warmth among moms. One of our U.S. moms said, "My most favorite season is fall! There's something intoxicating about the smell & feel of fall in the air. Seriously, there is NO other season that can make me feel this way!!!”

Just like a holiday, fall is

a topic that makes moms giddy as they reflect on all of the sights, tastes, sounds and smells of the season. A British mum shares her anticipation of the fall season, “colours of the leaves, all that gold, red and brown. Chill in the air and then crisp cold morning,” and “cozy jumpers and warm blankets and roaring fires! Tramping across frozen fields in my wellies”

Autumn

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Fall is the coming of a “New Year” for Moms

These online conversations also prove that moms believe fall is a season of renewal and the start of a new year. In addition to the newness of teachers, friendships, and activities, there is the symbolic newness of things like school supplies and books which also contribute to moms’ spirit of rejuvenation: “What is it about this season of school supplies and new clothes that gets us so giddy and excited?  The whole process oozes newness and something fresh. ‘Back to School’ is a homeschooling mom’s New Year. A time to start over.”

Moms see the arrival of autumn as a “back to reality” and back to family structure. After a summer of school-free days and family vacations, fall suddenly commands early morning wake-ups and enforced bedtimes. One U.S. mom describes her relief, “juggled yet another 90 days of travel, summer camps, vacations, school transitions, spontaneous weekend fun, get-togethers and accelerated work schedules,” and celebrates the “routine that comes with back to school time.”

Anticipating the Rites of Fall

As early as July, especially in the U.S., moms anticipate the return of fall classics. The seasonality of products, services and experiences add a layer of demand and extra splash of nostalgia. Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte has become an iconic fall treat and something moms eagerly anticipate with the change in seasons. “Most awesome things I've heard so far this pregnancy,” states one U.S. mom, “1) your pregnant 2) it's a boy 3) pumpkin spice latte on 30th!”

Fall brings the fun back to cooking

Fall encourages moms to revert to full nesting mode and shift their focus to their homes, which may have been neglected during the outdoor summer months. Cooking plays a central role in nesting for U.K. and U.S. moms, and many agree that autumn meal planning is far more fun than any other season. It’s less about throwing together a meal and much more about savoring the ingredients, smells and creation of a delightful feast. A U.K. mum explains, “Darker evenings, it just feels more relaxing, and I love the kids going to bed when it is dark. Nice hearty filling winter meals, My slow cooker really only gets used this time of year, and it's so nice to have a hot lovely tea.”

Fall is so much more

By uncovering what moms have to say about fall, it is obvious that the main themes in their life go way beyond a back to school focus and concentrate more on family and a tribute to a joyful, spirited season.

While back to school messaging will clutter the marketing space and dominate the airwaves, it is vital to listen to what moms really want to better connect and create meaningful experiences that matter to all moms.

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