Mother's Day recently got me thinking about the power of Mom. No, I'm not talking about her power to get us to finish all our vegetables or clean up our rooms—I'm talking about her power in 2012 to brand.
Let's face it, the American mother is an incredibly iconic figure that is constantly changing and growing. That evolution is most evident from television over the years; from the sweet 1950s apron-and-pearls portrayals provided by Donna Reed and June Cleaver to today's TV housewives that are both Desperate and Real. Moms are long past being just about apple pie and folding laundry; they've become a force to be reckoned with on all fronts.
That became very apparent a few weeks ago when Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said a few words on CNN that set off a political firestorm of epic proportions. Rosen made the assertion that Ann Romney, the wife of Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, "never worked a day in her life" because she didn't work outside of the home.
Moms rose up as one to state the obvious; stay-at-home parents are on the job 24/7. Can you even put a dollar sign on all they do? Well, Salary.com took a shot at with its Mom Salary Survey, concluding that a full-time mom should be making at least $110,000 per year. And even if she was only being a mom part-time, she still should be making $66,000 on top of her regular paycheck.
Should be, but isn't—which is why some enterprising mothers are taking to the Internet to create a "celebrity mom" status for themselves and using it to brand their own entrepreneurial endeavors (at this point, who hasn't read Dooce or The Pioneer Woman?). It makes sense; according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one in four married mothers with children younger than 15 stay home with their kids—and they could probably use the extra household income. And running a business out of a home is increasingly commonplace. As a matter of fact, according to another U.S. Census survey, home is now where over half of the businesses in the U.S. are located.
There aren't any stats readily available on how many stay-at-home moms are becoming entrepreneurs (as CNN points out here), but you can find examples of Mom power in action everywhere. Check out Dorothy Beal's site, Mile Posts, to see how this amazing woman and mother of three overcame a medical condition to become a marathon runner, and then branded herself to take advantage of sponsorship and advertising opportunities. Then there's Jen, The Suburban Mom, who promotes brands and special deals through her website, and Holly, who runs a fitness program to help transform any out-of-shape mom into a "Fit Yummy Mummy," at ClubFYM.com.
These are just three examples of so-called "ordinary" moms who took tried-and-true branding principles and transformed themselves into marketing powerhouses. The lesson here? The ordinary becomes extraordinary when you leverage your everyday status to attract others just like you to your business.
So, dads, you'll have to wait closer until Father's Day to get your due. In the meantime, let's not forget that when you turn "Mom" upside down, you get "Wow."
However, I would first ask her permission before you do that.
JW Dicks (@jwdicks) & Nick Nanton (@nicknanton) are best-selling authors who consult for small- and medium-sized businesses on how to build their business through personality driven marketing, personal brand positioning, guaranteed media, and mining hidden business assets. They offer free articles, white papers, and case studies at celebritybrandingagency.com.
[Image: Flickr user Jason Rodman]