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Millennial Family Passion Points: A new roadmap for marketing to the modern family


Editor’s Note: This post is part of our Big Ideas Series, a column highlighting the innovative thinking and thought leadership at IIeX events around the world. George Carey will be speaking at IIeX North America (June 13-15 in Atlanta). If you liked this article, you’ll LOVE IIeX NA. Click here to learn more.

By George Carey, Founder & CEO, The Family Room

It is axiomatic in the world of mom, dad, and youth marketing that the brand with the best insights on their category wins. But is this really true? Do the ads that gives us goosebumps or the new products that move markets come from category insights, or human insights? We think that the answer is the later. Indeed, an army of social scientists are telling us over and over again that the root of consumer decision making… the System One thinking that Daniel Kahneman described so eloquently in his seminal work Thinking Fast And Slow… does not take place in the rational part of the mind, but in the emotionally-driven sub-conscious.

So how well does your organization understand the emotional landscape of Millennial families, the world’s biggest consumer? Millennials have now moved through their kid, teen, and young adult life-stages, and are now having babies and raising children. With this transition, they have adopted a whole new set of Passion Points that bare little semblance to those of non-parents but are essential for any brand wishing to connect with them on an emotional level to understand. Here are four examples:

The Primacy of Kids: Millennial moms and dads, perhaps to a fault, are obsessed with their children and being a part of their lives. No less than 54% describe their SEVEN year old as “one of my best friends.” Brands they perceive as allies in strengthening this parent/child bond will get their attention.

A Culture of Fear: It is a very scary time to be a parent. Between terrorism, gun violence, toxic air and water, and an unstable economy, it is no wonder that the number five Passion Point for Millennial moms and dads is “Safety and Protection.” Brand stories that make families feel safer and more secure will be of high interest.

Health And Wellbeing Re-Defined: Surprising as it may sound for what we have come to think of as the most health-conscious generation, when you put “Living A Healthy Lifestyle” in the broader context with Millennial moms’ and dads’ other Passion Points, it doesn’t even make the top five. Reframing the conversation from health as an end benefit to health in services of a dominant Passion Point will help a lot.

One Family, One World: When you get to this level of human understanding about families, there is remarkable unanimity in the emotional truths that define them and govern their consumer decision making. Find the Passion Point your brand ignites, and it can take over the world with one message.

I will be sharing a more in-depth review of The Family Room’s discoveries on Millennial family Passion Points at this year’s IIeX Atlanta on June 13th and invite you to join me. Also be sure to check out the work Steve August and is doing with us on a new set of tools for getting inside the hearts of Millennial parents and youth.

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