Brands are failing to represent the modern day mother, research has shown.
A report conducted by Saatchi and Saatchi and Mumsnet found that 19 per cent of mums could not relate to representations of mothers seen in adverts. Campaigns were said to be outdated, with many being far more representative of the remote 1950s homemaker than the tech savvy and sociable mother of 2014. Since these findings were published Saatchi and Saatchi X have looked further into the shopping habits of mothers. With 94% of married mums still being the main grocery buyers in their households, their shopping preferences harness a huge amount of retail power.
One of the biggest lifestyle factors that brands are failing topick up is the fact a lot of mothers are now shopping online (40%).The image often projected of the exhausted mother roaming the supermarket is therefore redundant for nearly a half of mothers. Something Rachelle Headland, managing director, Saatchi & Saatchi X notes: “It’s all too tempting to think of the frazzled mum, trying to manage her weekly shop with a couple of bored children running uncontrollably through the aisles. This will only lead you down the path of finding ways to make the shopping experience quicker and more convenient, an operationally-led approach”.
The portrayal of the food shop as a necessary and stressful job certainly doesn’t allow for the sociable and positive aspects many mums take from the experience. The majority of mums actually enjoy the time spent with their children: 53 per cent claim they don’t mind having their children with them and 60 per cent state that their children are more fun to spend time with than the majority of adults that they know. Interaction with other parents also forms a strong part of a rapidly changing shopping culture.
Headland says “they benchmark their experiences emotionally and actively seek inspiration from a variety of sources, including and especially, other mums. Add to this their recession-trained, technology enabled buying sophistication and you have a very powerful segment of the population driving a totally new shopping culture. The pace of change is fast, and the industry is investing heavily in new technologies and formats, and yet we are positively lethargic towards truly understanding the needs of our number one shopper in almost every sector.”
More parents than ever are now using the internet to interact with one another, Mumsnet alone has over 10m visits per month. Sue Macmillan; commercial director at Mumsnet says: “By making the effort to truly understand the range of contemporary mums’ concerns and aspirations – rather than, as has traditionally been the case, simply bundling the entire demographic into a one-size-fits-all image of motherhood rooted in the 1950s – brands are able to engage authentically with this influential consumer group.”