Values Based Branding; for Millennials, Its More Than an Add-on

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Values

Millennial moms account for almost 90 percent of the 1.5 million new mothers within last year…" 

"The Mother of All Generations:  5 things brands should know about millennial moms"

Tanya Dua, Digiday 

Remember those headlines that said "The Millennials Are Coming?"  Well, they're here.  "Millennial moms account for almost 90 percent of the 1.5 million new mothers within last year…"  That according to a very interesting article by Tanya Dua of Digiday.  

The article, "The Mother of All Generations:  5 things brands should know about millennial moms," tells us that Millennial Moms "...prefer brands that align with their values."  For example, one of the reasons McDonald's has been struggling is because these parents like the values expressed by fast food companies who promote natural foods.  

In reading the piece, my take away is that the values expressed have to be organic to the brand and not an add-on.  Giving a percentage of profits to charity is certainly a noble act.  Yet, it does seem that this new generation of parents is far more attracted to companies that actually make their values an integral part of the product.

That is why I think that the McDonald's Corporation's choice to cease using chickens with human growth hormone was a step in the right direction as it was a values statement that was integral in a meaningful way to how they do business.  Who would have thought that the values expressed by which chickens are used may be as impactful for this generation as the values expressed by the Ronald McDonald House was for an earlier one?

So, who in the toy and play industry has succeeded in expressing their values through their product and how it is marketed?  

  • Goldie Blox certainly did by aggressively and endearingly espousing for girls to be engineers and engage in other hard science professions.  Their products and their wonderful videos connected with girls and their parents through a cute but aggressive pushback against all things girly-girl.
  • In the same sense Green Toys, though much more subtly,  espoused its belief in safekeeping the environment with its very name no less than its use of a trade dress and logo that expressed allegiance to the Green movement.
  • Toca Boca has been a leader in kid's play by producing gender neutral, open-ended apps that are playful without being competitive.  In addition, there are no ads or in-app purchases.  By integrating values of no surprises for parents and silly fun for kids into their products they have connected strongly with parents and become leaders in the digital space.

Do you have a company or know of one that integrates its values into its products?  If you do, share it with us.

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