The Challenges of Millennial Moms
P2PX Keynote Address
- Thursday, Oct. 4, 8:30 a.m.
- Katherine Wintsch, Founder and CEO, The Mom Complex
The Mom Complex helps brands understand and solve those pain points while benefitting their businesses
Being proud of a #momfail and posting it for all to see – not something mothers of previous generations would have done. But Millennial moms have an approach all their own to parenthood.
“This generation is the first to be open and honest about how hard motherhood is,” says Katherine Wintsch, founder and CEO of The Mom Complex and who has been studying the lives of mothers and modern families for the past 12 years. “They are not afraid to brag about the mistakes they made.” (Note to shopper marketers: Don’t personify perfection to resonate with this group.)
Wintsch knows that Millennials can often be dismissed as flippant, but she points out that these moms – and dads – are facing some grave issues new to parenting, such as bullying, school shootings, childhood obesity and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
In addition to these larger issues, there are also many everyday pain points they encounter. “Unfortunately we tend to idealize and glamorize the role of a mother. The way we talk about moms in meetings, it’s a June Cleaver picture – healthy food, recycling, baking,” says Wintsch. “Empathy comes when you really understand the challenges they face and walk in their shoes.”
She has been helping companies such as Walmart, Kellogg, Johnson & Johnson and Kimberly-Clark understand the struggles of today’s moms and will share her insights with 2018 Path to Purchase Expo attendees during her Oct. 4 keynote presentation.
These brands and retailers care about helping modern families because they know where there’s pain, there’s profit – eight out of 10 births are to Millennial moms, and women control 85% of household purchases. “When you understand the pain points,” Wintsch explains, “you can solve them in a way that works for moms and your business.”
One technique The Mom Complex uses to understand mothers is its “passion and pain” research app. For 10 days, moms use the app, submitting texts, pictures and videos. Wintsch prefers capturing insights in real time in lieu of surveys and focus groups. “Moms forget what they were doing last night. We need tools they use in the present moment.”
To get moms and brands talking to each other, the company holds “Maverick Mom Innovation Sessions.” These allow for building of products and marketing campaigns to be done alongside the end-user versus brands and retailers working in a vacuum.
Kellogg’s Eggo waffle bar food truck was one such program co-created with moms. Kellogg and Walmart teamed up to push Eggos beyond the breakfast table and give them attention outside the frozen aisle. An Eggo-branded food truck visited Walmart parking lots and offered free waffles with a variety of sweet, savory and decadent toppings. It showed time-pressed moms easy ways to enliven dinner – a major pain point with Millennial mothers. In stores where the food truck made an appearance, sales increased by more than 21%.
“It was a retailtainment program developed alongside the consumers it needed to reach,” says Wintsch. “Also key was that it brought both the brand and the retailer into the innovation. The more collaborative approach, the better.”