Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Are you an Alpha Mom?

Even though I know they're mostly marketing shorthand, labels like "Alpha Mom" rub me the wrong way. I was irritated by the Soccer Mom and NASCAR Dad names applied to previously "hot" target markets in years past, but there is something even more offensive about the term "Alpha Mom."

According the this USA Today story, "Alpha Moms are educated, tech-savvy, Type A moms with a common goal: mommy excellence. She is a multitasker. She is kidcentric. She is hands-on. She may or may not work outside the home, but at home, she views motherhood as a job that can be mastered with diligent research."

The article goes on to say that Alpha Moms are influencers, driving the tastes and purchases of other mothers. I don't dispute this. There have always been connectors and mavens and plenty of marketing books describe them in great detail. So why do we need to describe these plugged-in Gen Xers as Alpha Moms? Are you a Beta Mom if you haven't got a blog? If you trust your instincts or your in-laws instead of the experts? Can we arrest the Gamma Moms for hiring a neighborhood teen instead of buying a SitterCity membership?

The media has already tried pitting working moms against stay-at-home-mothers. The last thing we need is another label that separates and elevates one group of moms above the rest. What do you think? Am I being too sensitive?