With a little help from my friends

Last week dadmarketing had the pleasure of interacting with the excellent Tiny Blue Lines, a wonderful website we’re helphappy to have discovered. Highly recommended.

In our conversation, she brought up an interesting point.

You can head to our Twitter site if you want to read our discussion, but she made a comment worthy of further exploration when she said, “…props to all the dads who don’t think of (handling baby’s night feedings) as ‘helping’!”

That made us think.

In fact, it was enough to make us look up the true definition of help, which can be defined several ways, as noted at dictionary.com. Those most applicable in this case would be:

  1. To give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist;
  2. To make easier or less difficult; contribute to; facilitate;
  3. To be useful or profitable to.

However, when put in context with night feedings and caring for a baby – a role most associated with mom – it seems to puts dad back in the assistant/helper role, doesn’t it?

Consider the converse: if a dad was working on a car in the garage all day and mom said, “I helped my husband work on the car today,” wouldn’t that also connote feelings that she was merely an aide, or an assistant?

And then it hit us that this is one of the many reasons dadmarketing exists.

The more we can all rid the world of these labels, stereotypes and preconceived notions, the more we’ll be able to say, dad helped to feed the baby during the night, and it will simply sound like he provided what was necessary to accomplish a task, or contributed to something, or was useful.

Period.

And it won’t sound like he was only assisting his wife with one of her jobs during the night. And when a dad cooks a meal it won’t sound like he was being a good husband and helping mom out in the kitchen. And, maybe, just maybe, we can rid the use of that absurd “Mr. Mom” name.

Tiny Blue Lines’ comment was indeed thought-provoking, because props for sure, to those dads who don’t think of it as helping, but further props to those moms and dads who don’t categorize it a mom or dad job in the first place.

Advertisements

A for-letter word

4moms is a robotics company founded in March 2006 which makes high-tech baby gear. 4momsAmong several other items, it offers for example, the world’s only power-folding stroller.

If that isn’t cool enough you should check out its infant tub which fits in most single and double basin sinks, where a side drain allows dirty water to drain out as fresh water flows in.

Or dig the infant seat and its five unique motions that mimic the natural movements parents make to comfort a baby.

All of the ultra-nifty technology is enough to make mom and dad put down their smart phones, and…

Wait … not dads.

This gadgetry is only for moms, right?

Well, yes and no.

Recently, we had a pleasant 140-character conversation with the friendly folks at 4moms, who enlightened us that its company name merely comes from an initial focus group held that consisted of four mothers.

Cute and unique, indeed, but in a baby world where businesses purposely leave dads out of the parenting mix, it’s a saying that’s well-worn.

Had the name been 3moms or 5moms, we never would have taken issue with anything. Imagine that the wildly-successful burger-maker franchise Five Guys had been named 4Guys – that means something else entirely, doesn’t it? We’d all perceive them differently, and wouldn’t women be deservedly up in arms?

We’re sure the desire of 4moms to match true company history with the play-on-words was too good for them to pass up, but you know who gets passed up in the process?

Dads.

Oddly enough, the company was founded by two dads.

4moms assured us that they “definitely know” that dads count too, but there’s little proof of that by way of the website and anything on the product proving otherwise. If anything, it’s just the opposite, with a 4moms logo adorned vividly.

Sure, they could add a special section honoring dads or put some extra wording on their website somewhere, but that would do little to market to the in-store shopper.

What would a company called 4dads be about? We have a few ideas, but we doubt baby products is one of them, and that’s our point.

Dads are parents too, and it’s time businesses start listening to fathers everywhere.

Judging by its products alone, 4moms seems to have a bright future ahead, and eight years in the books for a company like 4moms is kind of like eight months in baby years. 4moms is still very young.

Which is why we think it’s plenty early and not too late to consider a name revision: how about 4moms+4dads?

Such a name would pay homage to its founders, Thorne & Daley, who must deep down care a thing or two about dads.

And speaking of care, if 4moms really cares – as its charity’s name suggests – how about starting with its customers?

As in, all of them.