Mom the CEO

Let’s admit for the sake of argument (and my health) that moms in general are overworked, have taken on more responsibilities over the years, and are generally saints for putting up with everyone’s crap and moving us all forward. Done.

What roles do brands play in these moms’ lives? For the daily caregiver, earner, disciplinarian and teacher, you’d think enough was already on their plates without having to be the purchaser, tester and ultimate decision-maker, too. Moms will often send the dads out to the store, but too often the guys just don’t know what’s going on intimately enough to make a good decision. Moms are discerning shoppers, to be sure.

And you know, stretching the household income to meet the demands of a growing family with ever-changing needs is hard enough without brands changing their formulas, ingredients, focuses and flavor varieties on a regular basis. And though Mom may suffer from the host of confused comments that follow — “Mom, I don’t like the new chips!” or “Honey, my shirts smell funny!” — she takes this news in stride and adjusts her shopping lists to keep the world in balance.

Moms have shopping chores down to a science. When looking at the pre-purchase, purchase and post- purchase behaviors of moms, we notice that they conduct a large amount of online research for more informed decision-making. This research can include cost analyses, environmental analyses, breakdowns of possible health effects, or investigations of new brands introduced by a friend in a social network.

Brands typically sell benefits they’ve established in their own testing without hearing the real concerns of moms. If a brand really wants to know how to market to Mom, it should step into her shoes and honestly consider her needs. Identify a problem that moms have today, type the problem into Google, and see what brands address this problem. If you become frustrated by a slew of unsatisfactory results, you can bet that there are a few moms out there who feel the same way.