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Memo to Brands: Time To Play Catch-up to the Realities of Dads – #Dad2Summit

During Superbowl Weekend, I connected with 200+ other dads (and some moms) at the Dad2.0 Summit in Houston.  There, brands like ConAgra Foods, Dove Men Care, Kraft, Jamba Juice, Sears, TurtleWax and several others were there to share their insights and listen to our speakers dispel the myths of “Mr. Mom,” and the image that advertisers often incorrectly depict dads a being bumbling idiots, bad cooks, and not being too skilled in the ironing department.   In the video above, there are some pearls of wisdom from some of these brands as they listened and spoke to dads at the conference.

I have two children, now ages 21 and 26.

While many of my traditional, consumer-oriented fatherly duties have come to an end, I am still their dad.

Way before Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and online engagement, I was an active and proud papa.  Later in their lives, I became a co-parenting dad when my then-wife and I decided to part ways.

Be it married, or not, I always played a role in the consumption habits of our family.  I cooked.  I cleaned.  I washed clothes.  And I was the purveyor of electronics and introduced the children to the Internet.

I often brought my kids to work, took them on business trips and always taught the children that when they met someone new, to look them in the eye and shake their hand with a firm grip

I don’t think I’m alone.

There are millions of dads just like me who are actively engaged, and making buying decisions for the family.   And in today’s economy, with the rise of the startup economy, and the choices we now have to work at home either full or part time, Dads continue to play a growing influence the consumption habits of the family and the choice of brands  that wind up in the home.

Brands would be wise to start thinking about shifting from pure demographics and to consumer behavior.  Today, dinner transcends gender and men are coming out of the pantry.  “TV” is now video content – on three screens.  Men are shopping from the new point of sale:  their smart phones.   We spend time online to shop, compare, read reviews, generate our own opinions, and build social influence.

While my children are young adults, I’m now looking forward to rebooting my life and consumption habits when they start to bring grandchildren home.  I’m looking for brands who want to connect with me, and get my attention so I’ll make your brand our family’s brand of choice.

I’m not alone.

Dads and granddads represent one half of the population.  We’re getting older, living longer and have more disposable income.   Our children are wired, mobile, and global.

It’s time to listen in and catch up with where dads are today, and where we’re headed.   Tune your messages and your brand promise with more emotion.  We’re tuning in and listening on our end, but we can’t hear you, unless you resonate with what’s important, meaningful and moves us to engage.

 

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