Family formation and parenthood have traditionally been considered a natural life stage. Global demographic changes combined with challenges to gender stereotypes and greater access to information and education have made family formation more of a choice than an inevitability for many in developed markets. At the same time, many developing markets still hold traditional views. Brands are having to adopt more inclusive and nuanced approaches.


The traditional definition of Mum and Dad living in a household with children under the age of 18 still applies. However, family structures are diversifying, which means single-parent and same-sex parent families are more commonplace. In some parts of the world multi-generational family households are the norm.

Key insights

1. Engagement with families and parents needs to reflect the diversity of this audience

Traditional views of parenthood and families are changing globally. Family structures are changing due to factors such as delayed childbirth, more women working, more single-parent and same-sex parent families and the altering role of men in family life. While developed markets have witnessed this ahead of emerging markets, the shifts are global, with regional nuance. At the same time, the internet is giving parents, carers and families access to a vast array of information and shared experiences. A marketing strategy that understands the purpose of why families are together and promotes modern family life as embracing togetherness, inter-generational sharing and wellbeing will resonate with and attract families. Effective engagement requires a rethink by brands as parenting is no longer a de facto life stage, but an informed choice. Ipsos Mori suggests the following can be an effective way to engage this audience:

  • Develop inclusive propositions reflecting the diversity of modern families
  • Do not assume that parenthood is the sole identifier
  • Guide and support parents and families through curated choices
  • Use relevant influencers via social media channels
  • Use content that accurately represents family life in the markets of operation