Often times, the life of a mom is marked by the milestones of her children. For example, when I think about my 35th birthday I don’t remember much about the day except that it was the first time my oldest daughter ate cake (she stole it from my plate and shoved it in her tiny face). The day I heard I landed a great new job, well it’s a blip on the radar when compared with the fact that my youngest lost a tooth that day and then promptly dropped it down a drain and cried for hours.
I could go on and on about the milestones parents mark their days against but I want to point two very important things out first:
- The milestones I just described were not momentous occasions in the traditional sense. They weren’t the first steps, first time on the potty, nor the first words. They were small moments but nonetheless meaningful and memorable for me, as a mom.
- The milestones I mentioned were not really about me at all, but about my children.
I bring these two points up for a very important reason: marketers are missing the mark on milestones. It’s a plain and simple fact. Do the big ones matter to moms, absolutely? But is it only about them? Absolutely not. Really standing out as a brand and connecting with me as a mom might mean connecting with the fact that there are a million small milestones that happen every day that impact my life. Even more importantly, why aren’t we rethinking milestones all together and talking about the milestones that moms themselves achieve as a result of having children?
I’ll give you a few personal examples: I vividly remember the feeling of accomplishment when I was physically able to walk around the block after having a C-section. It was unbearably hard and overwhelming but an achievement I will never forget. I also remember the first time I was able to get out of the house on my own with my first born. That was an amazing feat I still can’t believe I survived. Or, how about the first time I had to take both my kids out of the house on my own – it was a trip to the grocery store with a 4-year-old and a newborn in tow. I still remember the looks of sympathy and support that the other moms in the store gave me. I was covered in sweat when it was over, but I did it!
So why aren’t marketers celebrating my personal milestones with as much gusto as they do my child’s? Don’t get me wrong, I think the commercials that show major life moments for kids are often touching, but can I recall a single brand that produced one? Does it motivate me in any special way to try their brand? The answers are no and no.
I did see an ad last week that not only do I remember, but that also motivated me to shop their store. It’s this spot from Kohl’s that they did in partnership with Under Armour:
I still VIVIDLY recall the first day I suited up for a real workout after giving birth. It was an energizing, liberating, terrifying, and exhausted kind of feeling. But it was a REALLY big milestone and one I was incredibly proud of myself for achieving.
So, thank you Kohl’s and Under Armour for getting me as a person, and something incredibly powerful to me, in a way that no other brand has. And to the rest of you…the gauntlet has been thrown. I look forward to seeing what you can do to show that you really understand the milestones of moms.