The Mother of all Generations

Millennials now make up the largest demographic in the country, overtaking baby boomers in the US population. They are, quite literally, the mother of all generations. And millennial moms are increasingly emerging as the most important subgroup, accounting for almost 90 percent of the 1.5 million new mothers last year, up a whopping 50 percent from a decade ago. Brands would do well to pay attention, as this demo represents an estimated $2.4 trillion dollar market.

These five mega trends shed light on how to grow mindshare -and heartshare- among millennial moms:

Mom On

Only about one in two American moms is impressed with her own child-rearing skills. However, Millennial moms are pretty darn confident they’ve got this parenting thing nailed, according to a survey by Pew Research. A full 57% of moms aged 18 to 30 think they are doing “a very good job” at raising their kids. Only 48% of Gen X moms and a mere 41% of Boomers say the same. This confidence comes with an insatiable need for information and education. Think about what insights your brand can offer to empower her parenting skills and keep her on her A game.

Democratization of Family

There is a fascinating intersection of KGOY (Kids Growing Older Longer) and ASYL (Adults Staying Younger Longer) happening today that has created a 4-legged, 4-eyed super consumer, with moms and kids making symbiotic joint purchase decisions. Nearly 70% of moms and dads say children have influence on family purchase decisions. With 85% of all children being born to millennial moms last year, their influence and purchase power is only going to grow. According to a Goldman Sachs study, approximately $1 trillion is spent on children between the ages of 0 and 17 in the U.S. across housing, transportation, food, apparel, healthcare, childcare and education.

#MomBoss – The Chief Domestic Officer

More Millennials are “stay-at-home parents” than past generations (23.2%, compared to 16% of Gen-X and 22% of Baby Boomers). With the average age of motherhood now being age 26, many stay-at-home moms are educated and have chosen family over career in many cases and many moms are the primary breadwinners in their families. Their interests are as diversified as their portfolios, so be sure to connect with moms on issues that stretch beyond typical ‘mom’ topics.

Drone Parent

Helicopter parenting is frowned upon by Millennials, with Time describing their new parenting technique as

“’drone-parenting’—the parents still hover, but they’re following and responding to their kids more than directing and scheduling them. “Open-minded” “Empathetic” and “Questioning” are the qualities Millennial parents most want for their children. Brands that can empower parents down this path will reign supreme.

Jack Be Nimble

Small brands are winning. In this day of constant innovation and information, newer, more nimble brands have gotten their products into the hands of the very vocal mom community faster. The appeal of smaller brands revolves around their agile ability to deliver an experience around the product through their story and mission and appeal to a generation of ‘venture consumers’ — who don’t just buy products, but invest in brands and want to have a stake in the outcome. And this is one of the reasons small brands are winning among millennial moms. Through their tailored offerings and grassroots marketing approach, smaller brands have been able to carve their niche.

8 Tips for How Brands Can Connect with Millennial Moms

1) Find your Action Consumer

Not all moms are the same – what subset of this power demo is right for your brand?  Identify your ‘Alpha Mom’ and make her your friend.

2) Balance Emotional Messaging with Pragmatic Information

She still wants to be inspired, but she also does her homework before making a purchase. It’s part of the job of being a mom – making informed choices. Over and over.

3) Go Outside Your Bullseye

Use the 80/20 rule when it comes to brand messaging. Cast a wider net to reach influencers of your bullseye.

4) Remember Mom-fluence

View the whole family as your palette and consider the influence of mom across categories such as healthcare, politics and electronics.

5) Rethink Channel Planning

Use transmedia storytelling to resonate with all family stakeholders. A surround strategy is key for multitasking millennial moms.

6) Live Your Mission

The big millennial buzz words are authenticity and social causes. Millennial moms prefer brands that align with their values and pay greater lip service to brands that have authentic-sounding narratives. 

7) Keep it Simple

Moms are hyper-taskers. When you’re busy, you need simplicity. Make it complicated, and you’ll lose them every time.

8) Word of Mom

The beauty of social media is it’s easy to find Millennial Moms, connect with them and solicit their ideas. Research and studies will give you hard data, but not the benefit of rich real conversation with moms. Ask for their contribution and collaboration. Engage with your audience.