Mother’s Day Marketing to Gen Z | The Importance of Empathy

As we settle into January and look to the year ahead, brands are already beginning to plan their marketing campaigns for some of the key topical dates this year. Mother’s Day in the UK takes place on the Sunday 19th March, seeing Gen Z consumers celebrating their beloved matriarchs and acknowledging all they do for them through gift giving and appreciation. However, in a climate of different cultures and familial relationships, marketing Mother’s Day requires sensitivity and respect. In this blog, we’ll outline some of the ways your brand can reach young consumers who may find this a difficult time of year, and drive your brand affinity and loyalty as a result.

1. Start with empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and see situations from another point of view. Channelling this into a marketing strategy allows brands to build stronger emotional connections with their customers. Using empathy in your marketing is key for reaching Gen Z audiences, who value compassionate and authentic interactions. This Mother’s Day, many brands will be looking to roll out large scale, multi-channel campaigns – but it’s important to remember that the people on the other side are humans, with different experiences and feelings towards the day.

2. Your customers aren’t just a number

 A great example of empathetic marketing was last year’s initiative by Bloom and Wild. 

Bloom and Wild (a UK-based flower delivery company) introduced a new policy for its customers which enabled them to choose whether or not they’d like to receive emails around Mother’s Day.

Bloom and Wild demonstrated their customers weren’t just a number to them by personalising their communications, and directly addressing emails to their customers names. Equally, they signed off the email from a real, human figure (in this case, the Customer Experience Manager). Scripting an email in this way represents a powerful moment for customers, who are not a homogenous group but rather a collection of individuals with unique and separating experiences. Bloom and Wild received widespread praise online – and statistics show this kind of marketing continues to resonate well with young consumers, with 47% of Gen Z customers revealing they’d be more likely to buy from a brand promoting an opt-out option this Mother’s Day.

3. Celebrate all mothers

Mother’s Day isn’t just a painful time for some because of parental loss – in fact, it can be a difficult time for those who have lost children themselves, or for those who aren’t able to conceive. Consider this when implementing your marketing campaigns and try to be as inclusive as possible with your advertising.

A successful campaign that touched on this was Ritz’s Crackers 2021 Mother’s Day campaign. Ritz partnered with the National Foster Parent Association, running a social media campaign as well as a two minute advert which shows a couple welcoming in a fostered teenage boy to their home.

Ritz also went social with their campaign, creating fun and playful Instagram stickers for foster parents to use when sharing photos of their family. This was a clever play on the fact that in some US states, foster parents are unable to share the identity of their foster children on social media, so have to resort to editing photos of them with censor bars and icons. 

4. Smart messaging is key

Some brands may wish to avoid a heavy specific focus on Mother’s Day and may instead utilise messaging around the day that drops the ‘mother’ aspect. Brands such as Monica Vinader and Purple were successful examples of this last year. Monica Vinader focused their email marketing on ‘Women Who Inspire’; a nod to those who may be buying gifts for carers, step-mothers or chosen family.

Purple (a global mattress brand) swapped their messaging from traditional gift-giving discourse towards a campaign that focused on mothers themselves, encouraging them to ‘treat themselves’. 

5. Set your experience apart with discounts

To reach younger consumers who are feeling the pinch of the cost-of-living crisis more than ever, set your Mother’s Day marketing apart by offering exclusive student discounts, freebies and two-for-one offers. Remember that most young consumers will be shopping around for the best deals and this usually starts early – so kick off your marketing campaigns well ahead of time, and make sure your brand remembers to be empathetic.

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