it's all about me; shades of the otherhood

Shades of the Otherhood: rewriting the fairytale


Dear Brand Ambassador Program Managers,

Pay attention: the “otherhoods” are taking over. OK, maybe not world domination take over, but we are growing in numbers. We’re smart, savvy, and discerning.

Oh, and we have influence.

The Non-Mommy

Recently I have written a few posts about the lack of marketing towards DINKYs. Every time you flick on the boob tube or flip a page in a magazine staring back at you is this picture perfect, well-mannered family laughing at the dinner table or frolicking at the beach. Next.

Well, today I discovered that DeVries Global has been stalking me. I’m not sure how they did it for this long without taking notice but I raise my glass of Sauvignon Blanc to them <clink>. Together with Melanie Notkin, they released a canny infographic video describing the clout of the non-mom woman (1,087 of – at the time – 13,195 hits are mine; that’s how much the content resonated with me).

I was so giddy about the video I did some digging on it. I discovered that the stats were based on a white paper DeVries Global published astutely named Shades of Otherhood: Marketing to women without children. Aaaahhhhh – it was like I was surrounded by angels singing sale racks full of clothing in my size only.

It wasn’t one of those long, drawn-out environmental scan type of reads. It was more like a large-print child’s book with every point speaking to me. If you don’t have time to read the whole thing here are just a couple of excerpts…with a bit of my own ad-lib:

it's all about me; shades of the otherhood
  • The narrative of meet someone, fall in love, and have a baby is being entirely rewritten – and the ending is hardly tragic. Well, thank you baby Jesus! I can’t say enough about this. There is no “normal” anymore. Instead of “Do you have children?” why can’t people ask, “are you happy?”
  • 80% of non-moms say they could lead a happy life without kids. Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding.
  • Womanhood is not defined by motherhood; womanhood is defined by who you are as an individual, what value do you add for others. Preach.

DeVries Global wanted to get a better sense of how the Otherhood thinks, shops for groceries and beauty products, uses the Internet, eats, drinks, buys clothes, and travels. They did an online survey of 1,000 moms and 1,000 non-moms asking more than 300 questions. Here’s a quick summary of their research findings with blog post proof that they were stalking using me as their test case:

  1. She’s a savvy and connected woman. Why thank you for noticing DeVries Global. I take great pride in the love affair I’m having with the interwebs.
  2. She has purse power, but is not exactly Carrie Bradshaw. I do enjoy me some good ole’ retail therapy.
  3. She has time for leisure (and appreciates that freedom). OK, this is where it starts to get a wee bit creepy. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies ya know.
  4. Her top priorities: career and love. Even on the blue days.
  5. She loves kids (even if she does not want her own). I can play pseudo mommy with the best of  them.
  6. She’s happy. It’s true. Happiness. The rest is icing on the cake.

So, to all of the marketing and brand program managers out there, when you’re ready to tap into this with-it and wise woman who has enormous untapped potential as a consumer and influencer, call me. If I don’t answer right away it’s only because I’m savoring a latte while perusing the shops on my latest adventure.

A huge shout-out to DeVries Global and Melanie Notkin for this brilliant piece. All I can say is you #nailedit. Cheers to DINKYs everywhere.


10 Responses

    1. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched the video Ann. It’s the first infographic/whitepaper that has really captured me. But maybe that’s because it’s all about me 😉


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this. I am a proud member of the Otherhood (by choice). I dedicate my life to help other’s children (also by choice). I probably spend more time a week with children then most mothers. I work in an all female office and know I face a lot of inadvertent discrimination because I have chosen a life without my own children. I am happy. I have a fulfilled life. However, I am counting the days (approximately 6 weeks) until I officially become an aunt. I believe my role on this planet is to love other’s children, and not have my own. Maybe if advertisers took us more serious, the rest of society would too!

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