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Reaching the Millennial Mom

Written by Samantha Skey, Loyalty 360
Published: December 12, 2011

As many a new parent will tell you, blinking blearily with unprecedented joy and exhaustion: when you become a parent, everything changes. Not just your sleep patterns, but your world views shift and new concerns emerge virtually overnight. This has never been truer than it is for moms today, who are facing a whole set of opportunities and challenges that are unique to their generation. 

Millennial moms don’t know a world without perpetual connectivity. They have had a voice and a pulpit since they learned to click, and are increasingly accustomed to expressing their consumer experiences to their web-based public. They don’t know a world without corporate corruption and are skeptical of corporate declarations that do not follow through. They have been raised with a sense of resource scarcity, a perception that is only growing stronger among their own children. They are also savvy consumers, and know they are marketed to and that their loyalty is of great value. With this set of impulses, new moms of the millennial set are looking for triple-bottom-line returns on every purchase. That is, products that offer competitive pricing, social equity and confirmation of corporate citizenship. 

Recent studies by companies such as Edelman Financial Group and WPP indicate that

social purpose ranks  as the no. 1 deciding factor for global consumers’ purchases above design, innovation and brand loyalty considerations, and 75%  of US consumers want to buy from green brands.

Although price and performance will always be key factors in decision making, a brand’s mission for improving the environment and society is becoming a major point of differentiation. And as millennial moms have grown up in a world of constant connectivity and social networking, they won’t hesitate to look online to both seek out information around sustainability efforts and share their thoughts on both brands’ successes and failures when it comes to all things green.

For brands trying to reach the millennial mom, this has profound implications for how they should approach engendering loyalty and building relationships among the demographic.

Here are some tips to mobilize the millennial mom and create sustainable brand advocacy:

Get engaged.
Don't just market your wares, but engage your customers both on and offline around your efforts. This group wants that open dialogue, so be accessible and embrace your customers for their opinions, accolades and complaints. At the same time, these women also crave real-world connections, so incentivizing them to join your brand in making positive offline choices builds sustained loyalty.

Walk the talk.
Authenticity and transparency are essential. It’s okay to be imperfect, just avoid false claims or intentionally elusive rhetoric.  If you are just getting onto the green spectrum, don't sweat it too much (presumably, you are moving in the right direction); focus on transparency regarding your brand/product’s path to more sustainable practices. Showing consistency and long-term commitment is more important than showing epic, overnight change. 

Market with meaning.
Millennial mommas consume information constantly, via parallel processing. They are able to ingest more than their boomer parents and are strong relevance editors.  Incorporating relevant, useful educational content deepens the brand/consumer connection and gives them something to propagate as a way of adding value to their lives and connection to their peers.

Use incentives.
Moms are still the primary budgeters and spenders in the household, so deals and incentives are effective tools. They also grew up in an environment rife with gaming dynamics. To resonate among these multi-modality moms, consider incorporating gaming mechanics into your communication strategy. Tying incentives to offline action, such as making positive lifestyle changes, adds some social currency to the deal. This is an approach we have taken to heart at my company, Recyclebank, and have found to be incredibly effective. By blending competition, personal reaffirmation and deals with social good, you can create a truly entertaining experience that translates back to moms’ household responsibilities and confers a positive halo around your brand.   

Demonstrate their impact.
Coupling attractive rewards with competitions, challenges and pledges that tie to meaningful action can generate extended engagement. Making that action measurable and trackable satisfies this generation's desire to see their awesomeness charted.

At the most basic level, millennial moms simply want to know they are making a difference and that their actions matter. By appealing to this intrinsic desire and using a combination of online and offline engagement, brands can build sustainable relationships with a powerful and loyal advocate.

About the Author: Samantha Skey is chief revenue officer at Recyclebank, a green rewards program that works with companies to mobilize and reward consumers for taking environmentally preferred action while creating sustainability initiatives.

You can also read Samantha’s article over at Loyalty 360.

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