More millennials are becoming parents and as this has big implications for brands, SGK’s Cheryl Chia says it is time to rethink how to market to today’s parents.

Parenting as we know it has changed and it’s amidst another huge shift. In just four years, 83% of parents will be millennials. And this has big implications for brands.

But how exactly do millennials parent? And what influences their decisions?

For starters, they are earning more, with APAC household wealth forecast to increase by 33% by 2023. But not only are they earning more, they’re also tech-savvy, with 79% turning to social media as their parenting bible.

Millennials are embracing the ups and downs of parenting, championing their bumps and parenting status. Why? It’s all thanks to celebrities, who have pivoted the conversation with proud baby bump photos and in-the-moment parenting shots.

And we’re not just talking about heteronormative, married mothers and fathers, either. Millennial parents are more diverse than ever and they’re proud of it. More diverse voices mean they’re more globally aware and this is seeing them redefine what balanced parenting looks like.

More emotionally connected, millennials will take the time to understand why a child feels angry, sad, disappointed or happy, even if they can’t express it yet. And don’t forget the generation’s #1 concern: climate change. Millennials are driven by a pressing need to “save the earth for their children” and this funnels into their buying choice.

Tech-savvy, diverse, globally aware and increasingly wealthy, millennial parents are interacting with and discovering brands differently. We unpack four ways brands can capture these opportunities and win in the millennial marketplace.

1. Have meaningful conversations that matter

Millennial parents are going beyond simply stuffing children with knowledge, they’re helping them understand themselves through guided, meaningful conversations. When emotional literacy is a priority, helping parents tackle difficult conversations is a huge win.

Lego opened a precious line of communication between parents and their children, delving into online safety and well-being through “Build & Talk” sessions. The activities cover topics such as “Cyberbullying” and “False Information Online”, encouraging children to express themselves through Lego creations and prompting questions like “Have you ever met an online bully?” and “Do you know what to do if it happens?” Through the activities, parents gained a deeper understanding of what their kids were going through and Lego earned that holy grail – trust.

Toys, with caption reading

2. Nurture safe spaces

Millennials are socially progressive and more aware of inequalities in the adult world and with knowledge comes power. Rather than trying to ignore or conceal their differences, millennials are creating a more conscious way of parenting, where differences are not only acknowledged but celebrated. Brands can appeal to these mindful parents by helping them to champion inclusiveness from a young age.

Crayola creates safe spaces for kids to acknowledge and then embrace their differences through its “Colours of the World” crayons. These crayons – with 24 different skin tones – help kids to see themselves represented and build pride in their individual cultural identity. And don’t forget they’re assisting parents to start important conversations, framing diversity as true beauty.


3. Turbo-boost community

It’s always “taken a village to raise a child” but that village has gotten a whole lot bigger. Community – even when populated by overly opinionated relatives – has always been important for parenting. Parents trust each other and social media has taken this peer-to-peer interaction to another dimension. Brands should too.

Dove embraced this shift by creating “Real Moms Village”, a metaverse community where parents can connect with each other to share experiences, learn pro parenting tips and even earn rewards in an even more engaging and fun way.

4. Leave the world a better place

It’s not just parents who are more concerned about the fate of the world but children too. With an increasing emphasis on eco-friendly practices in schools and the home, kids are becoming new catalysts for families to be more eco-conscious.

Brands need to engage the socially conscious consumer by helping parents and their kids leave the world a better place for the future. They need to do that by innovating, creating new products, revamping their messaging and their business models. It’s not a question of when but how.

Some brands are answering these calls by creating toys which spark an eco and value-based conversation. Others are combating climate and environmental anxiety by offering more sustainable options. From Dyper’s plant-based diapers to Gush’s sustainable, family-friendly paint, brands are going beyond convenience and performance, helping eco-conscious parents create a better world for their child.

Baby with Dyper pack

How does this all translate into your brand?

With millennials fast becoming the modern parent, it’s time to rethink the way you market to today’s parent.

  • First, you need to ask yourself – what type of causes align with my brand’s values, goals and purpose?
  • Next, consider what topic your brand should be a champion of, embed yourself in those conversations and take action. There’s no room for fence sitters.
  • Identify the real pain points of parenthood and create content that is engaging and entertaining. Rather than trying to interrupt them, support them with real value.
  • Don’t skimp on the empathy. Parenthood isn’t easy and you need to think creatively when carving out your message. Instead of going for a hard sell, be vulnerable and empathetic.
  • Finally, don’t overlook design. Ask yourself: Does your design ease the parenting journey? Can it be simpler or how could you add value?

Parenting has evolved and brands also need to. Stick to the same, tired approach and be overlooked. Or put in the work and truly connect with this globally aware and eco-conscious, modern parent.

Once engaged, millennial parents can be extremely loyal. But to win them over, brands need to prove their worth.

Republished with permission from SGK.