What Happens When Brands Take Perfectionism Out of the Equation for Mums?
The Act of Empowering Mothers. There Are Nuances.
Rightfully so, there’s a giant push across the globe to secure ourselves a fulfilling life. There’s never been more to aspire to from travelling the world, to eating healthily, to having a brilliant career and being an exceptional mother. The end goal is happiness. And we all desire that. But whilst we absolutely prescribe to, and work towards, brands delivering aspirational and empowering content; there are nuances that need to be considered if we really want to reach a mother’s (or father's) heart.
Too Much To Do. Too Much To Be.
The equality movement is, largely, a brilliant thing. However brands need to be real about what the modern day for a mother truly is. Really tough sometimes! In fact, really tough often. Yes, it’s filled with opportunities and moments of true love and connection, but for the majority of the day it’s non-stop - rushing to pick up their young from school or the childminder, negotiating demanding work deadlines around a poorly child who needs them, ensuring they're providing an abundance of nutrients to their child's diet, worrying incessantly because their child is struggling somehow… It’s mental, emotional and physical overload.
Feeling Inadequate For Feelings of Inadequacy.
From the ads we grew up with; it was easy to think that motherhood was a gleaming, sunshiny place where mothers smile all day long with completeness. Everything would come together, they’d feel safe, enriched and happier than ever. And yes, they do feel those things at times but they also feel tremendous pressure too. They’re giving, giving, giving and no matter how much they effort, sometimes life is a reminder that perfection is not, and never will be on the cards. And still mothers chase it. Because they care, they care so much about making everything right for everyone.
Women (and this often is the case for men too of course) seem programmed to feel a sense of ‘not good enough’. Sometimes even catching themselves feeling ‘not good enough’ because they don’t feel ‘good enough’! At that point, mums can shrug and smile at the complexity of it all - and brands would be wise to see that there’s a fantastic opportunity here to resonate.
How Brands Can Get The Balance Right.
The truth is that women desire a harmonious world, getting it all right is deeply important to us. Human survival depended on women making sure that young are safe and that everyone has what they need. And that incredible trait seems to be multiplying along with the items on their list of 'to dos'.
So what’s the answer? The answer is to find a balance. Inspiration, aspiration and empowerment, yes. But with a massive helping of empathy. This is a perfect example of customer obsession - the act of truly knowing and caring about the journey that your customers are on. Moving away from glossy images of the unobtainable, and instead towards portraying the whole picture.
So I recommend going on your own journey as a brand, and exploring how you can help your female audience get to where they want to be (happiness) whilst being realistic and empathic about the challenges they face along the way. In this way, you can help free up mothers to find the happiness now (not as an unreachable outcome of elusive perfection) and to enjoy the beautiful moments that mothering brings but that stress often steals away.
When brands can find a way to genuinely provide both inspiration and empathy, they provide a little relief. And that’s something that mothers truly appreciate. And when mothers appreciate a brand for aiding their journey, they’ll give a little piece of their heart back in the valuable currencies of word-of-mouth and loyalty.