If you want to tell a story that really means something to your audience, it pays to get to know them a bit first. At Aesop we run regular campfire sessions with varied groups of people to get their take on the world. Our head of comms planning Stephanie recently hosted a gathering of millennial mums to shed light on what works for them – and what doesn’t – in the world of brands, marketing and tech. As with all humans, no two mums are the same, but here are some of the common themes we heard on the day.
1) Drop the act
Thankfully, it seems that Supermum and her piles of neatly folded laundry finally kicked the bucket in the noughties. These days it’s OK to admit you’re still wearing your nightie underneath your coat and that your kids had crisps for breakfast.
Lesson: Consider easing off on the ‘aspirational’. Unreasonable standards are out; “embracing the beautiful chaos” (as one mum put it) is in.
2) Sharpen your tools
The mothers we spoke to increasingly use apps and hacks to organise their busy lives. And we’re not talking chalkboards; at least one mum had several Evernote lists on the go.
Lesson: If you want to treat a millennial mum to some extra me-time, forget the spa voucher and give her a practical gift: an app to help her organise her morning routine. And maybe a spa voucher…
3) No woman’s an island
While many mothers still bemoaned those days spent with only a grizzling baby and a ‘sharing’ bag of Maltesers for company, it’s now possible to get support from a global community without leaving the house. Parents from Wiltshire to Wyoming are finding one another on message boards to argue into the small hours about the benefits/evils of cosleeping with their DCs.
Lesson: Underpinning modern parenting is an enormous network of social media. Its power to inform and influence shouldn’t be underestimated.
4) Just when you think they’ve started sleeping through the night…
Hang out near any parent anywhere ever and you’ll hear the age-old adage that “as soon as you get used to one phase, everything changes.” Understanding the modern mum’s world means knowing that no two days are the same.
Lesson: Build flexibility into everything. What works one week might be thrown out of the window (or simply forgotten) the next.
5) Hello, I’m still here!
There’s no denying that becoming a mother is a huge milestone in a woman’s life, but that doesn’t erase everything that went before. A common thread we heard was the desire not to assume (or be assigned) a ‘frumpy’ identity when kids arrive on the scene. If a woman was into Slayer, socialism and Converse before she had kids, it’s unlikely she’s suddenly turned into a kitten-heeled, Tory Coldplay fan just because she gave birth.
Lesson: Marketers, typecast at your peril!
If you’d like to find out more about the conversations we’ve been having, email Lily Bowden firstname.lastname@example.org