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Kaizo Live – Authentic purpose and its importance to brands and communities

Kaizo Live – Authentic purpose and its importance to brands and communities

[00:00:08] Welcome to this week’s incredibly hot Kaizo life this week will be asking how important purpose, diversity and inclusion is to online communities and the brands that wish to engage with them. I am delighted to be joined by someone who knows all about that, Kate Dyson, founder of the Motherhood’s community. Now, if you like me, have kids and I’ve come across the motherlode, you know that it really does offer a refreshing mix of humour and insights into the realities of being a mom whilst at the same time providing space to some of the most important issues facing parents and indeed society. Today, starting life as a Facebook group with eight of Kate’s friends sharing their experiences of motherhood, the community now has over a hundred thousand self-titled mobile members, of which I am but one since its very inception in twenty fifteen. It’s always aimed to be a safe, non-judgemental space for people to chat, stick advice and other like minded parents. So thank you so much for joining us today, Kate.

[00:01:13] Hello. Thank you for inviting me. I am very excited.

[00:01:17] Yeah, I thank you so much. I think it’s going to be a really interesting conversation. So I gave a little bit of a preamble introduction to the Motherlode, but we really get to hear from you about why you started and also how you’ve grown in the last five years.

[00:01:38] Yes, so the mother was a happy accident and I started it in 2015 and when I was the one with postnatal depression and I didn’t really realise it at the time, but I’d gone on to a well-known parenting forum posted about how I was feeling quite disconnected from my baby and was feeling a lot of anxiety, but also a lot of like emotion, like an emotional rollercoaster of rage and sadness and all sorts of things. And I poured all of this out on the floor and I was met with a lot of judgement and lots of, you know, you’re lucky to have a baby. You are in a privileged position. What are you talking about?

[00:02:25] It was a loss of that. So over the next couple of days, I was kind of thinking that has to be a better and a little bit in that time of reeling, I couldn’t really blame the kind of like like fury that had come back. But I was thinking there’s got to be a better way than for women to connect once we’re in this place.

[00:02:46] And surely I’m not the only person who feels the legal opinion on the site. During a three weeks with my mother, I the mother, like, it wasn’t cool, like it was some paper I got because all of it was like correcting.

[00:03:07] Like, it’s like my husband actually came up with the name the it, and that’s how in the end it goes, don’t know what I am going to say. And then it’s just very organically grown. We started with eight of my mates and literally just talking about everything from, you know, feeding the babies in the middle of the night, supporting each other with that and really weird, like delirious chat about like how fit remains was at some point. And that seemed like the important part of the thing. That’s how we cope with an awful lot of the chaos of motherhood anyway. And then, yes, very organically it’s grown. So I’ve never really thought to purposely grow up, not advertise that or anything like that. It’s just very natural. I think recommendation’s friends would my hairdresser speaking to that client or mum running the bakery and saying to everyone doing this great, you know, health business and yes, slowly but surely with them. Over five years, it’s grown into this really working great B2C. But I would say that organic growth has been something really stable for us. Some consistency started very quickly and there really we’ll take that hard to manage because they acceptation the founders and guidelines are really loose and it takes a while for you to catch up.

[00:04:46] So actually in a way that has been to our advantage, you know, it’s been it’s been a really nice, steady process, but also the idea of loyalty and trust, the, you know, the necessity for something kind and supportive.

[00:05:04] And, yeah, I don’t think that really comes through. And a lot of the discussions about we’ll talk about it later on, some of the the hardest issues that we’re all currently facing at the moment, that kind of level of discussion and authenticity and understanding and support, really, you can tell that it’s a very genuine, organically growing community, I think from day dot.

[00:05:31] So from your mates to two hundred thousand, obviously, that the membership profile and must have changed and developed over that time. You know, how has it changed?

[00:05:49] And also what what kind of when you’re talking to brands or partners about engaging with the membership, I’ll be looking to do that in different ways with the motherlode, I guess, especially in view of a lot of the changes we’ve seen an influencer marketing over the past couple of years.

[00:06:08] Yes, I’d like to pass there in a way, so first of all, yes, the demographic has changed. I can’t get away from the fact I am white, middle class, you know. And what can you create anything on Facebook? It presents it to people who look like you have a similar personality because they think you’ll enjoy it. So for a long time, like this white middle class and then just slowly, it’s that demographic very much changed through people bringing in friends of friends, and then they widen the membership wide. And it wasn’t ever a purposeful kind of intention or anything like that. But the demographic changed as we.

[00:06:51] And it’s really interesting because we haven’t always, I think, represented that entire demographic that we now have. And we’ll talk a lot about how we need to adapt and change that. But now we have like such a huge demographic. Do so have white middle class moms also have moms who are accessing things. We have moms who are living in a imagine in that posting about their iPads. You know, we have moms and pretty much every different background now. And that has been a really interesting growth in the multiverse of the conversations. And so far, I can post about literally about how my household, what the census system called local and my universal credit is being stopped and sanctioned. And then he literally said, where can I go? And would create an iPad and so forth. So be all commenting on each other’s posts, giving out advice, because the most important thing is that they’re all my rights. And that all sense is one time in terms of like how brands and sports started engaging with the system. Like, you know, I look back to two, three years ago when they first thought it really was kind of like yummy mummy brands that would get in touch. You know, they wanted the access to white moms and now with a much larger range of brands, products that are coming via saying now is the mother lode for us. This is a good fit for us. And I must say, I’m quite glad to see the influencer landscape change. And I have many friends who are influences and that that work is something that’s incredibly creative. Thanks very much. When I say it’s especially in parents names, an awful lot of white middle class families is not really looking at consumers outside of that demographic is a bit of an easy win because that’s why you get instant insights, some really nurturing long term relationships from the ones that like very successfully turns into some loyalty. And I think where we’ve been most successful in campaigns is where the brand is understood, is that it’s not right place for that, you know, and that’s a quick wins. And but that is where the company is the most successful. So, yeah, that’s that has been a lot of change. And I think it’s important that now from start to reflect on influencer campaigns, I think most they will now see it as part of a wider campaign strategy. But they are missing an enormous swathe of women who are out that was on Instagram and who want to engage with Instagram. And I think this hashtag IoT.

[00:10:19] Yeah. Is about that, I think is definitely a move towards more of a community partnership, a long term partnership, rather than just that.

[00:10:28] Yeah, I’m going to.

[00:10:31] Two million likes on Instagram, which is all positive, and now obviously over the past five months know we’ve all had our had our lives through upside down and a multitude of ways. How have you had to adapt as a community? And what are you hearing from locals about their experience?

[00:10:57] I think we’ve got what happened last week, you know, coronavirus that’s kind of so many different issues, so many members, whether it’s members losing their jobs, that their child care is gone and careers or an all time flight.

[00:11:21] I mean, I hate to say, you know, the big conversations that come out of Black Lives Matter, the colour of the senses and stuff that was happening with the boycott on Twitter a couple of weeks ago. And, you know, we’ve had pride in that time as well. There have been massive, massive problem of sanctions. I think it’s really easy as we talk about stuff, you know, we’re just parenting and, you know, just basic stuff. And we’re not going to look at those issues. But as moms, we’ve got to be engaging with that stuff because that is what all future generations, future generations are going to need to know about. They’re going to need to challenge and to be part of the conversation. And hopefully all that will change my kids. You know, it really starts at the kitchen table during the Book of matter. So for me, it means that hindsight.

[00:12:16] Yeah, yeah, yeah. And and it said something like, this is not the right conversation starter at your kitchen table. And it’s not something that resonates so much if we’re not having the conversations in the mother life for those women to them, they informed the other kids in their own homes, like we’re paying the membership enormously.

[00:12:44] And so we we didn’t shy away. We completely embrace those conversations. And don’t get me wrong, they’ve been robust, rigorous, difficult, uncomfortable. And we’ve had changes in our team as a result of them. We’ve had members leave with our team members. It’s been a huge flux situation.

[00:13:10] But what is really important is that we’ve opened up this community to some incredibly interesting, informative and educational talks and conversations that I think probably the one that’s been having.

[00:13:27] Absolutely, and I think that I think the thing that.

[00:13:31] Four for me from from a lot of these discussions was from the community, was that everybody, everybody might not have had the same views and experience, but there was a genuine kind of camaraderie and willingness and want to learn and share.

[00:13:51] And I think the role of providing, I think lots of people sharing kind of educational resources, as you said at the time. And it was like, you know, thanks for posting this. And I’ve never thought about that. I guess as as moms, that’s critical. You know, that’s how you want to bring up your kids and educate. So it’s really great to see the mother lode encouraging that within its own community.

[00:14:18] I think I do think sometimes these conversations are a bit performative on social media, you know, people feel intimidated by them, so they think I know a person’s name, I’ll post that results because then it looks like I’m doing something. Yeah, as we say, if it ends very quickly, the black square disappears off that time line, the whole thing, the conversations just come to a conclusion and then not reignites it. And we really think about how we are going to continue that within the within the motherlode and not not not allow the conversation to drop off the aether and to just stop. And, you know, having the say and we’ve done the same for pride, we’ve done the same thing.

[00:15:10] And some stuff with while we call them Twitter know having these days is a really great way of focussing on conversation. And but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t shouldn’t. So weaving its way through conversations and the moderation perspective that really, you know, that they’ve got volatile, we’ve got to make understanding that people are very passionate about these conversations.

[00:15:37] And also people put a foot in it all the time, you know, because they’re learning and not everyone is on the same page same time.

[00:15:45] But, yeah, I think it’s been it’s been a really important new sort of chapter for them over like just we sort of move forward. I know. And look at how representative we are, not just the boring demographic, but also all of society as a whole. And we need to be looking outwards as well. The same with the fabulous book, but it’s one hundred thousand women representing a hundred thousand families and a thousand four hundred thousand two hundred four hundred thousand children, you know, and that’s that’s the bigger effect of what with the.

[00:16:29] Well, if you I mean, you talked about some of the there’s obviously the and there’s been an increase, it’s kind of almost like a pivot to sleds and conversations and more support for that. And what are some of the the ways that you’ve tried to encourage that within the community? So how have you responded to these shifts and topics and and areas for discussion?

[00:16:58] You know, I think the most important thing is to facilitate your discussion is that I come to it humble and I come to it saying I’m learning to I think when we try and steal something and we try and like. I guess control it to point to or put pressure on people to actually perform within those conversations like this gets and I think like me, like as the face of the mother saying, you know, hang on a second, I’m learning here, too, and let’s learn together.

[00:17:35] It really opened up that conversation and people felt like, oh, my God, my God, someone said that, like, I’m learning to. And I’ve been overwhelmed with what I’ve wanted to say, what I wanted to think in my place in order to sort of explore that. Yeah, I think it’s it’s about having a space that facilitates conversation that really helps in a nurturing way because, you know, things are pretty traumatic conversations that we have. And we need a safe place for those. We need to learn and listen and educate themselves, but also those who are traumatised. And they all need a lifetime into that journey. One of those like nine hours into balance, those two needs within that.

[00:18:31] And I think the I mean, this is a sweeping to talk about the community and how have most generally responded to what’s the kind of feedback you’ve had to get to these moves and shifts.

[00:18:46] It’s been a main thing, actually. They’ve really embraced it. I I’m not going to lie. We’ve had some resistance to it. But nothing like I’ve seen elsewhere really has been an overriding desire to listen and to learn and to support each other through it. And there have been flashpoints. There have been moments of regret, thoughts as well. You know, we’re not perfect as much as anyone else is in these conversations because, you know, we’re learning where we live in.

[00:19:24] But I think that’s.

[00:19:28] Having having started it, you know, it means that people I think it is like is the way you started. Well, I think a lot we don’t start it with antagonising sorts of questions and it from like a defensive standpoint. And that sets the tone. And it really, you know, I guess influences the way other people will respond. And I think that something like this greater actually is the way that we influence each other in our own way is, you know, when we talk about influences, my legs are like huge influences. They remind each other. Hang on a second. Let’s have this conversation. Yeah, it’s like patient with each other. Let’s be supportive. Let’s be kind to each other. And it allows for a community space for these really difficult conversations to happen, but with a lot of love that first no desire to support each other through it.

[00:20:40] And so we got that from that. From a community perspective, do you think that we’re seeing a lot about the importance of Pakistan way across every kind of brand? And I guess there’s been some really good examples of that working and some not so great examples of, you know, some would say bandwagon jumping. Do you do you think that will become increasingly important across the board?

[00:21:07] I think I think someone needs a massive issue. And as a consumer, I see it as a user Axians I see it. And I do think that brands need to like, acknowledge that responsibility in looking at really properly who they’re working with, not just looking at stats, not just looking at that general insight so great they can get two million slices of it.

[00:21:34] They’re not actually who is this person that we are using in this campaign and who is it that’s like what is the general messaging? And, you know, what what were they doing big for Black Lives Matter. You know, they to pick up AIX Square and then they’ve moved on with their brand campaigns.

[00:21:54] And I think we’ve got to really take a step back and take this moment for what it is and saying, you know what, it’s our responsibility in the all. And I have seen that rising up throughout the last year or so. I think there has been more questioning from the ethics of campaigns. But if you’re aware but I think he was dogged with the whole white influence campaign and they got called out quite right. And they were my best friend. They changed so much of what they would do, you know, and now their campaigns are really great, really, women of every colour, size and disability and backgrounds. It’s fabulous. Well, it shouldn’t have taken that pool out to get you know, we should have been listening a lot more and actually influences and people like me are engaging with friends also have a responsibility to say, what does the line-up look like near you? So we have crossed formally. I would have informally have had these conversations with friends and like, who else is working on this and, you know, what’s their backgrounds? And show me that. Can I see the list of things on lakes, events and stuff? Not always met with a lot of support. Yeah, but now we formally have it on our content proposals, on our media kit that this is our expectation for problems when we work with you, that you will be representative, inclusive, diverse in your campaigns. Otherwise, you know, I want to be involved. I want my name attached to it because I am doing a disservice to my community by not being representative in work.

[00:23:47] That means bringing absolutely to to that point what would be you know, what would be your advice to any brands who want to engage with the mother?

[00:24:01] What would you know what other critical success factors to making that work?

[00:24:07] You mean in, like, starting or actually creating a campaign with that?

[00:24:14] Probably both. I mean, we touched a little bit on authenticity and relevance. So I think that goes back to being very honest about building that long term relationship. But what about when they say brands have an idea when they come to you and they want to get they want to kick off and they want to get your buy into working with them?

[00:24:38] I think the first thing I look for is like an authentic voice and whatever we’re doing, like if a friend is just going to come to me, this is the stuff that we need and you’re going to need to provide that. So, you know, with the greatest respect like that, I say, why are you doing it? I know you want to know why that is really effective. And I know that you’ve got goals that, you know, these boxes that need to be ticked. But what what message is going on here, you know, is I can slam in a campaign into it and put it in. And I can tell you that I can get those thoughts, but.

[00:25:17] The world’s changed, you know, like people don’t want to be sold to in the same way, they don’t want to just sing and have a flat tire that isn’t giving them any value. So I look for an authentic voice and I also look for value that is being put back into the community. So anything is going to remove the moulds in some way to bring the audience instead of like I mean, it just is great that they’re buying something, you know, I need to buy in from our community that really I love this brand. You know, they came on the money that they’re going to take away. You go and tell their friends and their family, like, I’m going to do that with hashtag IoT or the hashtag guesting on on Instagram. But if they feel rewarded, you know, they’ll do it here. Of course, saying that saw it first on Team Tom. If you know the organismal method and has always had a policy where if you give them something to receive, you can also give it to her community. And it’s just the most really a way to get it from from her huge platform. And they love it. You know, it’s like when it’s time for that, that they would it this amazing thing with Jim Brown, the organised mom. And it was brilliant. And I love that. And then she demonstrated that. And I love it because they have this you know, it’s just a completely different relationship that is started. And I think we are now seeing so much turn off. You know, recently said like a local in our community might have contributed to something about how all members perceive influences in this culture. And, you know, 90 percent of them, around 90 percent of them were immediately turned off by it. Seventy six, they were just why they just don’t want to sing it. They love that influence. Or perhaps they’re just climbing out of it now because they’re so aware that it’s just not just, you know, it’s funny you change that for them. And I think that’s what we’ve got to look at when without any companies like what we what’s coming back and for the audience, what they get out of this, you know, I don’t think we mentioned it yet.

[00:27:53] You mentioned it at the beginning. You know, everybody is everybody’s an influencer must seeing the rise of national influence. So essentially, everybody in the community is that is an influence. And I think it is tapping the power of that, which could be critical and very interesting for a lot of brands.

[00:28:15] You’re absolutely right. I can easily put something in, it’s like, look what I’ve just discovered, but they have a suspicion about what? Because I think, you know, I’m talking to moms that have been at the food bank that morning like that some time that where exactly I say I need a panel of 10 bowlegs to come review what the next product. Will this make sense of this? And then I’m going to tell the Milosz about it like that has so much more power, real parents and that trust factor.

[00:28:55] And, you know, moms love to be able to trust the recommendation from another man more than IoT. Absolutely no authentic voice.

[00:29:09] So just before we close off, can I just fade away?

[00:29:18] Fade away what?

[00:29:20] You obviously we’ve made great strides towards tackling and creating space that to discuss very important issues of the day and of the future.

[00:29:32] And then we’ve got let’s move in trying to kind of, you know, harness that and the individual part of it to the members of the community. So what’s next for the mother lode?

[00:29:42] What what would you like the future to hold on such a big question?

[00:29:49] This is a business. So like, as much as I bring motherhood and most of my life, when I think there is that there is some perception anyway on the people engaging with the community, saying that we’re a little bit like in many moms, that I might have an offering. So I go and say that I’ve got a team doing my social for a team like the one up.

[00:30:14] Still want to make my website windbreaks like this. I don’t have an amazing team of moderators supporting me. It’s me then. I like you and I that and I give up my time to do that. Otherwise it’s me. Oh my. Yeah. AIX faith. This is got to be how we next grow not only the community but how we diversify. That’s next. And how we become I think, more representative of the voices. Again, we’ve started that work. We’re nowhere near being able to say we’re even in the middle of it, know it’s this huge undertaking and responsibility that I’m determined will make. For me personally, no, I wanted to be the best it can be, I want it to be, you know, I wanted to be recognised as a force for change and and an important voice in the parenting arena. And I don’t. I don’t want lots of people to say there’s a lot of work to be done.

[00:31:28] And I hope friends will come forward and join me in that and and support that work and be part of this white culture that we’re creating, but also that we’re influencing because it’s personal.

[00:31:45] And hopefully that will grow and grow and grow and, you know, to influence new headlines and all the lessons we all learnt from that relationship.

[00:31:57] Absolutely.

[00:31:59] Well well, I think we’re looking forward to going on that journey with you, Kate. Thanks so much for.

[00:32:14] It’s been incredibly interesting and also I just wanted to say thank you for everything that you, the Motherlode team and community are doing to enable these open discussions in this kind of environment, because that’s exceptionally important.

[00:32:31] I think everyone hopefully watching. We have and thought provoking community seems particularly important in view of the many global issues, parenting challenges, socioeconomic changes. The list goes on that we’re currently facing in 2020, but more importantly to Kate’s point and beyond, and that we’re kind of at the start of a journey here.

[00:32:56] And so thanks again, Kate, and thank you.

[00:33:01] That’s all from us this week. And don’t forget this and all previous episodes are available on the Kaizo website. We will see you next week for more Kaizo life.