Opinions about branding by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

REI, Invent This Brand: Rugged Childcare Gear

These days it is common to see fathers taking care of their kids in public. While this is a great step forward I find myself asking why the men must be "punished" by having to use childcare brands that look like they were meant for a mom to use, not a dad.

I wonder: If a well-known sports equipment brand would come out with items meant for taking care of kids, could this be a vehicle for supporting father-involvement?

Imagine that REI or Coleman or even Nike would develop a line of childcare items that included such things as:

* Strollers
* Diaper knapsacks
* Snugglies (those things where you hold the baby in public)
* Car seats

Or, how about a line of organic food for kids that was marketed to dads? (Read: pureed steak! Uch, that sounds gross, but you get the picture.)

Consider too the minivan meant for a Dad - whereas now they basically look like they're meant for soccer moms. (I saw a commercial for one of these the other day but I can't recall the name.)

For too long the marketing mistake has been to focus on the gender of the child. Instead, focus on the parent and the cultural norms associated with who provides childcare.

There is money to be made in social progress.