I’m a Gen X mom who missed being a Millennial by about a year. I identify as an Xer and share many of the qualities of Xer Moms—pragmatic, value conscious, time-strapped, and in search of convenience. It has taken a while, but marketers seem to “get” me and my needs more often than not.
But what about the moms to come? Specifically, young American women ages 15 - 26, many of who have yet to join the ranks of the sleep- and time-deprived “moms club.” Joining this club brings bouts of exhaustion, hours of delight and, most importantly, a complete change of life habits and perceptions. How similar or different will these young women be (as moms) when compared to Xers like me, and to older Millennial women (ages 27 - 36 today)?
One thing is certain: brands that touch the lives of families in any way need to get ready for this new wave of Moms by raising awareness and building trust as these women become essential targets for marketing.
Here are a few things brands can do today to connect with moms of tomorrow:
Add to their sense of well being, not their anxiety
Perhaps driven by their constant connectivity and attachment to screens, over 80% of younger Millennial women claim they haven’t gotten enough sleep last month. This is a higher proportion than among their older Millennial peers. These Future moms (born between 1990 and 1999) are also stressed about the economy and their overall safety. They were alive for 9/11 and the Great Recession, so they have seen plenty of troubles already. How can you offer reassurance and calmness in your solutions and messages?
Help them make sense of technology
These younger Millennials have access to more tracking technologies and apps than any mom, ever. So today’s “helicopter” parents may come to seem hands-off by comparison. Technologies like drones, remote bicycle breaking systems, wearables/activity trackers, and others yet to come will make these Future Moms increasingly barraged with real-time information. However, they may be too busy to act on it. The result may be both a sense of ease, from knowing what is going on, and growing anxiety from a glut of data and responsibility. Brands that help Future Moms sort and act on the information in their lives will be heroes, for sure.
Advocate for safer eating through your products
To many Future Moms, food ingredients are still a major source of confusion and concern. In fact, almost half get confused about what foods and ingredients are supposed to be healthy or not. Many worry about getting sick from contaminated food and drink products and they read nutritional labels. Over a third have tried “clean eating” — five points more older Millennial women. Brands will have to tune in and deliver solutions in a transparent way, in order to garner trust now and in the future.
Understand their diversity
The youngest Millennials are the most diverse and multicultural than any generation in U.S. history, with 45% being non-white. They show a preference for products that reflect their values, beliefs and ideals. Understanding their values, cultural identity, tastes and choices will be critical to truly connecting with them on a personal level.
Connect with them in real time
The upcoming moms are the kids of the pragmatic Xers, and thus are more price and deal conscious. They are agile when it comes to technology and platforms, and therefore they are more likely to seek product information (including comparing prices) and share their experiences in real-time.With that in mind, point of sale is going to be a critical point of engagement, and social media are without a doubt a source of influence and platforms that amplify messages.
The new wave of Future Moms is coming, and they are quite different from the moms before them. Driven by emerging digital technology, changing family formations, and growing multiculturalism, they come in with a different set of values, aspirations, tastes, preferences and tech and media behaviors. Keep an eye on their nuances of behavior and belief, and let them know you understand their needs. By helping them evolve and meet their growing responsibilities, brands can stay relevant in their lives—and top of mind in their purchasing.