Millennial Mom as Gatekeeper (NOT): Study Shows that Moms No Longer Have the Final Word

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New research shows that moms (and dads) are relinquishing their decision-making authority in Millennial families

NORWALK, Conn. September 1, 2015  Fewer than one in four moms today describe themselves as having the final decision-making power in their family. A study by The Family Room LLC, in partnership with FocusVision and Lightspeed GMI, found that out of the 1200 individuals included in the research only 25 percent of moms and 38 percent of dads saw themselves as having the last word. This indicates that brands need to undergo a fundamental shift in marketing, as moms appear to no longer be the gatekeepers, which has been the long-term assumption of companies and brands for the last several decades.

Modern Family

In a related finding, the study also showed that the number of mom of consider their 6-12 year old to be “one of my best friends” increased form 38% for Gen X moms to 54% for Millennial moms, further underlining the increased power of the child in the Millennial households when it comes to family decision-making. A trend of collegiality and “buddy” culture between parents and their children, and the decreased self-identification of both the mom and the dad as the final decision maker reinforces this assertion.

“The conventional wisdom has always been that for the great majority of product categories, it is the MOM who is the final gatekeeper and the MOM who is making the final decisions. But in categories ranging from family dinners to family vacations, to the family toothpaste, to the family wireless plan, Millennial moms and dads are inviting their children to the decision-making table and paying close attention to what they have to say,” said George Carey, founder and CEO of The Family Room. “In this study we asked a national sample of moms what role they see themselves playing today in making choices in their families – and this role has shifted significantly. They no longer see themselves as having the gatekeeper role among Millennial families.”

The study, highlights of which will be released as a white paper in fall, was in part an exploration of the new roles and relationships that exist in Millennial families and the remarkable differences from Gen X.

Both quantitative and qualitative technologies were used during the outreach via research company FocusVision, which helped humanize quantitative data with instant qualitative video responses, among other approaches. A comprehensive sample provided by Lightspeed GMI covered core family groups from the Millennial and Gen X generations, with a mixture of general population, Hispanic and African American family groups.

About The Family Room LLC
The Family Room, LLC is a strategic research, brand strategy, and new product innovation consultancy specializing in Millennial kids, parents, and families. We help our clients understand millennial families, reframe their categories, and renew their brands through an advanced understanding of modern family decision making. www.familyroomllc.com

About Lightspeed GMI
Lightspeed GMI is an award-winning global digital data collection enterprise. Founded in 1996, its innovative technology and proven sampling methodologies deliver operational excellence throughout the online research process. With more than 5.5 million online research respondents in 45 countries, Lightspeed GMI’s proprietary panels deliver unparalleled quality, capacity and targeting. Headquartered in Warren, New Jersey, Lightspeed GMI is part of the Kantar, the data investment management arm of WPP, the world leader in marketing communication services. www.lightspeedgmi.com.

About FocusVision
FocusVision is the leading global provider of qualitative and quantitative technology solutions to the market research industry, providing an online survey platform, research facility video streaming, webcam focus groups, ethnography streaming and mobile device usability studies. Our services allow research professionals to engage with respondents in any place, at any time. FocusVision has more than 300 employees and offices in the US, the UK, Bulgaria, Brazil, Australia and Singapore. www.focusvision.com @focusvisioninfo

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