Jezebel posted a list of archetypes yesterday derived by market researchers affiliated with NBCUniversal in an attempt to more precisely target single mothers as consumers. There are only four ways to be a single mother, according to these marketers, and they are:
Girl Interrupted – “This group of moms are young, white, and low-income, and their outlook on life tends to be one of personal sacrifice for their children, and a life interrupted by the birth of a child. They may not be the happiest group of women for marketers, but never fear — they are all over Facebook.”
Dream Girl - “These ladies tend to be Hispanic, tech-savvy, and well-supported by family. Unlike those sad-sack Girl Interrupteds, they’re extra psyched to be moms! Their glass is half-full … of merchandising opportunities.”
Survivor Mom – “These moms are older, have financial difficulties, and may be divorced or widowed. They also have the highest brand loyalty of any group. All you have to do is show that your toilet paper is more reliable than her ex, her job’s dependent-care plan, and a country with a near-nonexistent social safety net, and you’re in!”
Secondlife Mom – “They are experiencing life again and looking for new brands. They are a bit of a ‘mommybopper,’ living out those teen years a bit, with online dating, new clothing and going out with friends as common activities.”
But what if you don’t fit neatly into one of these categories? I’m somewhere between a Survivor Mom and a Secondlife Mom. I’m divorced and money is tight, I was online dating before I found a beau and I work in entertainment/media so socializing is part of my job description, but I’m not really looking for a new, masculine paper towel brand to make me feel like a big, “Brawny” man can clean up the mess I’ve made of my life. Now that I’m on my own, I can finally buy the earth-friendly products for my home that I always wanted to but was never able because my husband, who controlled the purse-strings, shopped exclusively at Wal*Mart. (Frowny face!) They don’t market Mrs. Meyer’s products on television, but somehow she found her way into my kitchen! So I’d say I’m more of a:
Granola Glam – Sophisticated yet down-to-earth single mother working in entertainment/media/publishing. Money is tight for this brassy broad with big ideas, but she makes a point of using it to buy products that make her feel good about her relationship with the planet: organic milk, all-natural soap and vibrators made from post-industrial recycled plastic.
What about some other single mom archetypes that might be missing from this picture? Like the:
Ivy-League IVF – This mother F-er is not one to mess with. She’s a helicopter mom who isn’t going to let anything happen to the precious child she paid 50K to conceive. Sell her band-aids, musical instruments, sporting equipment. It all must be high-end, cutting-edge and uber-educational. Instructions should be written in English and Spanish so that the nanny can read them.
Tattooed Pixie – This single mother left her man and since then has not been able to stop inking herself. She gets a new tat whenever the mood strikes and she’s not ashamed of it, dammit! Sell her A&D ointment (it’s not just for babies, you know!), tank tops and ibuprofen. This hip momster has some extra cash and ain’t afraid to spend it in a way that hurts so good!
SPACFBM – That’s the Soda-Pop-And-Cheetos-For-Breakfast Mom. She’s a young girl, too young, from the inner-city or sticks who doesn’t have time to feed her kids a banana. It’s not like they peel themselves! She’s too busy yelling into her telephone and getting her nails airbrushed. Sell her Hi-C Fruit Punch, nail glue, and of course soda pop and Cheetos. Just don’t try to sell her on you, Mister, cuz she is done with men, okay?!