Within the last generation, there has been a tectonic shift in the structure of the family. Traditionally, it was a hierarchy with the parents at the top. Now, that hierarchy has transformed into more of a web.
Fifty- four percent of Millennial parents believe that “the kids are my best friends,” compared to 38% of Gen X parents. The new dynamics within the family suggest that marketers need a different approach to research and insight gathering that prioritizes shared family “Passion Points” over individual needs.
The Family Room and Focusvision undertook a qualitative and quantitative study of the passion points in Millennial families. The qualitative portion consisted of recorded “in the moment story-telling,” letter-writing, and “photo safaris” to explore the meaning of the passion points, while the quantitative phase measured the size of the passion points, their dimensions, and how they shaped family decision-making.
The authors discovered that:
- The overriding passion point among parents (more than money or education or nutrition) is making sure their kids are prepared to succeed -- equipping them with the “core skills they need to thrive while encouraging their innate sense of curiosity and wonder.”
- Many brands have little to do with their categories. LEGO is a successful example. LEGO “lights up” five of Millennial families’ top six Passion Points, only one of which has anything to do with play and toys. Instead, the message is that LEGO builds families.
- Brands should embrace a purpose focused on making Millennial moms feel something, rather than think something.
- New brands that succeed are those that fill “emotional white space” rather than “category white space.”
“To win with Millennial moms and families,” they conclude, brands need to “chase the elephant, not the rider” [i.e., focus on the emotional sub-conscious, rather than the rational].