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why moms NEED to believe brands - and you need to be human

A note from the "Mom" me:

Listen up, Brands Across America. Moms are drowning. Really, we are. The "mental load" is real -- very, very real.

Oh, you haven't heard about how tired moms really are? Check it out here, here and here. Also here, here and here. It's everywhere, all around, and all over.

We have got a trillion things we are juggling and can't put that all aside when it's time to think about your brand. We really can't.

I know you put in so much effort into so many marketing tactics to try and connect with us. And we appreciate that. It's sweet.

But, more important than anything else are the things we need your product to deliver for us.

Priority. Numero. Uno.

Some examples are:

  • Ingredient lists without crap in them that will kill us over time

  • Items that clean up without needing to break out toothpicks to get in the crevices

  • Products that practically cook themselves - as in, fully cook themselves

  • Items that can go into the dishwasher without disintegrating in two washes

  • Content that will actually help my kid at school, not just 80% fun and 5% learning (See? Math!)

  • Flavors that my kids will really like, and not just because it's straight up sugar with "beets for color"

  • Clothes that will last the two months they will wear them before its too small

  • Candles that really do transport me so I can try to relax and have a lovely conversation with my husband

  • And a million other things I need you to do for me

Ok, you know how this works. You do something for us and we'll gladly pay you for it.

But, here's the critical part. We need to be able to believe you when you say that you do these things. We need to TRUST you.

Because we just don't have time to fact check you. At least not all of you.

More than a few times I have heard marketers quote studies about how few people truly do read ingredient lists and nutrition facts vs. how often they claim they read them. As if to say - don't bother, they don't check them.

Breaking news: we don't have time to sit there and read all the labels!

We need to trust that what we hear from your brand and see on the front of your package represents a truthful version of what you're selling us.

If we find out otherwise, well... good luck.

But guess what? If you deliver -- we'll be loyal to the death. And that really is a win-win.

Because one less thing on my list --

24. check what else in my fridge has harmful dyes even though it says "all natural"

25. order yet another brand of water bottles because the last 6 started leaking

26. s̶o̶a̶k̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶l̶a̶s̶a̶g̶n̶a̶ ̶p̶a̶n̶,̶ ̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶o̶u̶g̶h̶ ̶I̶ ̶s̶p̶r̶a̶y̶e̶d̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶d̶e̶a̶t̶h̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶ ̶c̶o̶o̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶s̶p̶r̶a̶y̶

is a beautiful thing.

A note from the "Strategy Consultant" me:

First of all, when people say brands -- they mean you! You the brand leader, the senior executive, the founder, the co-founder, the brand director, the CMO. YOU are the brand.

Now, I know all this sounds like marketing 101 -- delivering on your functional benefits is 101. But moms -- and really, all of America -- need you to take that a step further. I'm talking about being a human and delivering beyond what's on paper.

Several times I've found myself in a client's meeting with R&D, or regulatory, or legal, trying to work around the rules. Sometimes, this is necessary as some rules are just wrong (KIND is a great example). But too often than I am comfortable with, brands are just trying to be able to say something and have to "be creative" with what they've got.

I get it. We're all trying to get those big wins. And we're tasked with delivering results. And that can be hard to do in the constraints of our product, or category, or organization.

But trying to "work the system" is short sighted and a risky proposition for your brand.

Next time, ask yourself - is this in the spirit in which the consumer has asked for it?

If your consumer was in the room, listening to this discussion, would s/he side with you?

If you were going to buy this product, what would you want? What would you want for your family?

Please... bring a human side to your brand. Every bit of the personal we can put out in the world can only help make everything else better. And that includes the long-term wins for your brand and for you.

- KG

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