It's Time For Brands To Take Stands On Issues

There are approximately 85 million mothers in the U.S of which 34 million are online. And this number is growing. The next generation of mothers is growing up digital. And mothers are using technology along with social media to mobilize and effect change. All over America, grassroots change is happening with women/mothers standing up to everything from a child’s right to recess to lobbying for family leave policies, fair pay, health care, gun control and more.  There are so many resources and organizations along Twitter, Facebook, blogs, forums lending visibility and sharing of issues and challenges facing us today.

We have more women in Congress than ever before -- 98 out of 535, and many of them are mothers. Women hold 5 of the 15 leadership positions in the House and five committee seats in the Senate with Nancy Pelosi holding the highest position as Speaker of the House. Mothers like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., are helping to push through critical legislation like the Violence Against Women Act, which was recently passed, a critical step confronting the 1.3 million women who are assaulted every year. And on the grassroots level, individuals like the PunditMom to organizations like MomsRising are driving forces contributing to change. 

There are a record number of mothers in the workforce -- 70.6%. In fact, only 5 million of the 34 million moms online are stay-at-home moms. Women now hold over 50% of management and professional positions–yet only 21 women lead any of the Fortune 500 companies. And secretary is still the top job for women.

Mother, aka the Chief Medical Officer, makes or influences 85% of all healthcare decisions but when it comes to changing the landscape of healthcare only 4% of healthcare company CEO’s are women. The U.S is one of the few countries where mothers dying from pregnancy complications are on the rise and the reason is directly correlated to lack of health insurance. There are task forces and growing movements like Half The Sky and Every Mother Counts fueled by mothers and women banding together to create changes in policy and address the issues.

So what does this mean for brands and marketers?

It’s time for brands to take stands on issues like Ben and Jerry’s, with their Get The Dough Out of Congress campaign or Yoplait’s Pink Campaign which is more than donations to breast cancer. Studies show motherhood triggers our desire to create a better world and that we are more apt to support a brand that supports a cause. Brands need to remember mothers care. 

Mothers are more than just moms. The depiction of moms is often so stereotypical and not representative of who she is today. She has high expectations from corporate America and our government. Companies need to care not just about the products they make and the services they sell, but diversity in the workforce, flexible work hours, fair employment practices, corporate responsibility and the things mothers and women care about today.  Brands who support her and the issues she cares about will get more of her share of wallet and her share of voice.

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4 comments about "It's Time For Brands To Take Stands On Issues".
  1. Dawn Diaz from Milagros Day Worldwide , March 1, 2013 at 10:18 a.m.
    It is absolutely time for brands to use their influence to take a stand on social issues! This is a no-brainer and a win/win, because people pay attention and buy products that are aligned with the causes they care about. Mother's Day is the perfect opportunity to showcase your brand's stand by celebrating women who have overcome abuse and are making a difference. Support the Mother's Day Walk in NYC May 12, 2013. www.milagrosday.org
  2. Alex Lekas from PTI Security , March 1, 2013 at 10:23 a.m.
    Taking stands works both ways. See: Chik-Fil-A and gay marriage. Just as mothers are more than moms, women are also individuals with diverse points of view. Dawn is right that people pay attention and they can just as easily boycott a company as support it for whatever stance it takes on an issue.
  3. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship , March 1, 2013 at 2:25 p.m.
    Great post Holly!
  4. Katie Petrillo from Punchbowl , March 5, 2013 at 11:06 a.m.
    International Women's Day is Friday, and is a good place for brands to start, especially if they plan to focus on the mothers out there. Last year, Coca-cola did a campaign around IWD and got themselves involved in a few women's-centric issues.