Here at SXSW during a panel discussion yesterday lead in part by Peter Shankman (@skydiver), Shankman warned the crowd and brands tuning in to “Beware the Mom-Borg Collective.” And I took issue:
Shankman says, it’s a complement. Really?
The “Mom Borg-Collective”? A compliment?
For any non-Trekkies among us, the Borg had one collective mind, one collective voice, and assimilated any alien cultures in their path. They would issue forth a warning to the population of an encroaching world in the path of their ominous black ship, “Resistance is futile! Prepare to be Assimilated!” Each individual Borg was called a drone, had no ability to think independently, and received commands from the central collective headed by the Queen Borg.
They represented the ultimate threatening invading force and alien enemy, conquering all in their path. The Borg had no desire for negotiation or reason, only to assimilate and move on, and thus posed the greatest known threat to the Federation.
So in Shankman’s theory, Brands become the Federation. Moms as Borgs become powerful brand detractors who can wreck havoc on a brand in their path - as in beware getting the unleashed the power of the Mom Borg focused on your missteps or miscommunications. Case in point from Shankman’s view: the Motrin Moms incident where Mom twitterers and bloggers rose up to protest babywearing ads and rapidly shut them down.
After a heated debate over Moms as Borgs, with photos captured by KD Paine @kdpaine
...Shankman and I buried the so-called Borg hatchet- caught on his camera as proof that the Mom-Borg hit on him should be called off:
Where does that leave us?
There’s no doubt that there’s no hiding from irate Moms. Case in point: what is currently happening with Nick and Mattel’s newly launched version of Dora as a tween 10-year-old where Moms felt the initial release looked too grown-up, with a too shapely figure and scanty clothes. Moms wanted a more wholesome image and looks like that’s exactly what will happen. Here’s the Salon take, “After the Dora Uproar, Nick and Mattel soothed Moms.”
So what’s a social media dude like Shankman, who created a great, but completely unrelated free service linking journalists to folks with answers, know about us Moms?
Most of the power of Moms online has seen in igniting us as brand enthusiasts. We love engaging conversations and sharing with each other tidbits about the products about which we feel passionate and that have made a positive difference in the everyday fabric of our lives or those of our kids and family. Thus the rush by brands to capture Moms’ attention: especially in terms of Mom influencers (Mom bloggers, website owners and editors, community leaders, forum leaders…the list goes on and on). As a viral word of mouth and social media consultancy, Mom Central Consulting has worked with over 150 national brands on Moms activating the Mom demographic: our slideshare deck. We have learned through running these campaigns that the key to engaging Moms proves getting them into the loop of a new product launch, valuing and listening their candid opinions and feedback, and finding those passionate about it to use their Sphere of Influence (SOI) to rapidly spread the word- thus driving both online activity and offline sales.
Perhaps a better slogan for the power of Moms online comes from Star Wars:
"May the Force Be with You!"