Don’t formula makers realize that dads feed babies, too?

No matter how often we view it, it’s always a surprise to see formula makers ignore dads as equal parents. Dads can’t physically breastfeed, but they certainly can formula feed. And they buy formula. A lot of it.

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As such, one would think dads should be huge targets for laser-focused marketing that capitalizes on the influence of fathers and formula feeding. Dads could be the primary ambassadors for a product that formula makers could woo in order to assist them in promoting healthy formula feeding.

Nope. Almost every formula manufacturer still disregards dads as parents who feed babies. Take a look at the site revamp of Enfamil, where you’ll find a bit of irony on its Better Together page.

First, it exclaims: “The world outside is full of things that divide us.” Yep, things like websites — and marketing campaigns, hashtags, imagery and menu tabs. In fact, there isn’t much to find that’s inviting on its site for fathers looking for content about the products they’re using to feed their children.

Second, it indicates that “…we are raising the next generation of extraordinary men and women.” Also true. But these eventual extraordinary men will be disregarded upon becoming dads by the very company that celebrates them.

Third, it speaks of “uniting” throughout its website. Um, right. Most of it looks like a divide. Dads are creating, expecting, growing, feeding and nurturing babies every bit as moms, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at the Enfamil site.

Perhaps Enfamil could invite some of its paying customers to talk about their experiences as parents.

Enfamil won’t have to look far. Those customers are the same ones who get up in the night and take on feedings whenever needed. They’re the ones who read nutrition labels and care about exactly what they’re feeding their children. They’re the ones who want support and want to share it. They’re the ones who work at a job that helps to pay for the formula.

They’re dads.

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Marketing holidays differently

It’s Mother’s Day Weekend, and that’s exciting for a lot of us.

No matter your family dynamic in today’s modern world, we all have a mother, whether you know her or knew her — or not. And like Father’s Day, that makes it a day that we can all acknowledge in some way. Truly, these monthly back-to-back, parental-rejoiced days are unlike any other on our calendar.

Think about some other big holidays. Easter isn’t celebrated by all. Neither is Christmas. Even with Independence Day, it’s not like everyone in our melting pot has American citizenship.black&decker.jpg

But Mother’s Day? It doesn’t take having children to make this day meaningful. It’s relevant to every one of us, and few holidays can say that. Regardless whether or not you have a relationship with your mother, the day still has a connection for us all, because we all have a mom that shared with a dad in giving us life.

That’s what makes the marketing of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day so significant. And because they occur in back-to-back months, it makes them easy to compare.

Just yesterday we received an email from Black & Decker (right). The ad doesn’t acknowledge any stereotypes about females or males. It doesn’t feminize with flowers or pink – it’s just an ad geared for Mother’s Day. You’re certain to see something similar for dads when Father’s Day nears.

Now look at the Enfamil ad (below). It’s also wonderfully done, but when viewed alongside Black & Decker’s piece, you can’t help but wonder: will there be a comparable ad for men on Father’s Day? Based on our monitoring of formula makers and their past marketing history, chances are you won’t. In fact, it’s doubtful you’ll see anything from Enfamil on Father’s Day.

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Black & Decker sees an opportunity for growth and revenue. It embraces the other half of the consumer population the rest of the world ignores because it knows power tools aren’t just for men. They’re proving that even an industry dominated by one gender can find ways to cash in on the other gender’s purchasing power.

There’s no reason Enfamil can’t do the same.  But will they?  We’ll be watching.