Broadthink was delighted to have the opportunity to talk with pediatrician, bestselling New York Times author, speaker, and mom Cara Natterson, about her consulting business, Worry Proof M.D., and the consulting services she provides to companies who market to tweens and teens. Dr. Natterson’s unique perspective helps her clients achieve their business goals for their content, brand, and/or products.
BT? What are some of the top things companies who are marketing to teens and tweens need to know about their customers?
Cara: Kids are smart. And when they are approached in this way, they appreciate it. Sure, they can be manipulated and sold-to, but the brands and products that make the biggest impact on tweens and teens – and certainly the ones that stick around the longest (in the right ways) – are the ones that meet kids where they are, not beneath them.
BT? What kind of work do you do for companies and how has it helped them?
Cara: I have done everything from brand brainstorming to consulting on safety and applicability. I love working with companies on the front end, as they are thinking through products that have yet to go to market. I find that it can be incredibly powerful to sit with creatives and marketing folks, helping them to understand where kids are in a particular developmental stage or how they might perceive a product or piece of content given their current physical/emotional/social/cultural circumstances. I also enjoy being part of a team that gathers to look at a product or piece of content after its launch. Reassessment is a big thing in medicine – we treat a patient and then see how things are going in order to determine if we should stay the course or pivot. This is very true in the product/consumer world as well. Finally, I do a fair amount of professional development and education. Whether this is speaking with employees, executives, or creators, I deeply enjoy being invited to speak in corporate (and non-corporate!) settings.
BT? What are your top topics and/or pieces of advice when you are asked to speak to various organizations?
Cara: It all depends on the topic! My mantra is that we all strive to be safe and healthy. How to get there while still living life and enjoying the ride is the big question. And how-to parent kids who are seeking this balance, well that’s even bigger.
BT? What specialized services do you offer organizations or companies that are different from other consultants?
Cara: I am available to work with companies at any step of the way, from development to execution to post-market assessment. I can bring both health information and zeitgeist (both parental and tween/teen) to the conversation, which is a unique proposition.
BT? What do teens/tweens want, need, and expect from the products they buy and the companies who make them?
Cara: Honesty and transparency! They do not want to be duped. If and when they are, companies lose them.
BT? Do teens care about the ethics of the companies from which they buy products (e.g., child labor, sexism, carbon footprint)?
Cara: Tremendously! Much has been written about how this is a generation that is primed to – and has to – save the world. These kids take very seriously affronts to other humans, groups, and the earth itself.
BT? Are teens interested in a company’s charitable overlays (e.g., Tom’s Shoes, Warby Parker, or others)?
Cara: I think so. But I also think there is a lot of room for kids to be taught about how to give back charitably. We know tweens and especially teens have profound purchasing power. Well the flip side of that is that they have profound donating power as well. I personally think this needs to be woven into their ethos and corporations can make big strides here.
Please visit Dr. Natterson’s website, Worry Proof, MD. Here you will find her articles, newsletters, videos, podcasts, and interviews. If you have more questions you would like Dr. Natterson to answer for you, please contact her at Cara@WorryProofMD.com.