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Grandparents and back-to-school buying

By Leslie Prevish

Leslie Prevish Blog 8-13Sure, you know parents spend bucks on back-to-school items for their kids, but what about grandparents? An interesting article, Boomer Grandparents Make Back-to-School Fashionable” cites a study that boomer grandparents spend more on back-to-school items than parents of school-age kids. I’ve seen several grandparents do this, and I bet you have as well. Try these ideas for connecting with grandparents and encouraging back-to-school shopping.

Scavenger hunt fun

Not all kids are eager to actually GO back into the classroom, but most are excited to take a trip and get some new clothes and supplies to ensure they’re hip among classmates. If the trip involves a fun activity, all the better. Try setting up a store scavenger hunt with clues to find items on your list of suggested “10 coolest back-to-school items”.

Promote to parents and grandparents via email, social, web and in-store flier avenues. Make it interactive with staff, and give small prizes for finding “bonus” items. Encourage them to bring a friend or two, who may also be keen on motorsports. Host a safety seminar about kids and your powersport products. Younger kids may like a scavenger hunt more than older ones, so how do you reach the latter?

Good grades incentive

Incentives for good grades can be controversial. Both of my parents were teachers, so they may roll over in their graves on this suggestion … tell grandparents to bring in their grandkids and let them pick out what they REALLY want for a Christmas or end-of-year/graduation gift. Maybe it’s a fashionable jacket, or even a new ATV, snowmobile or dirt bike, depending on the budget. You could even suggest that the grandparents pay half of the big-ticket item, with the parents or grandkid covering the rest.

Make sure they set specific goals to earn the gift. When they’re in the store picking it out, take a photo with the item to print it out so the kid can post in a study area. Encourage them to also set the image as their mobile phone background image or laptop screen saver. Suggest grandparents (or parents) come in each quarter for a smaller item if the student is making good progress. Many kids struggle with a certain subject (I’m still not sure how I got through calculus). Having an incentive helps keep them focused and excited about it. Think of ways to remind them of the “prize” when they’d rather play video games and watch movies than study.

Grandparents Day Sept. 7

Most kids are back in school by Sept. 7, but you could still consider hosting a special event celebrating how grandparents have infused the love of powersports in their grandkids. Post a photo and testimonial on your social media, website and email channels showing how this generational bond is strengthened through family time outdoors on your products. Some of the ideas in my previous article, “Moms Spark Powersport Sales,” could also apply to grandparents. Show how other grandparents have experienced your products and services with grandkids, and its lasting effect. Host a “Super GP” contest and ask for nominations and stories of grandparents who have taken grandkids on memorable trips. Or even ones who spend weekends at the lake, in the mountains or on the trails, giving grandkids memories they’ll keep — and share with others — for the rest of their lives.

A rider for 25 years, Leslie spent 15 years with Harley-Davidson (three retail, 12 corporate) and created their marketing to women role in 2007. She spearheaded Women Riders Month and a Garage Party Campaign which drove 25,000 women to dealers. After two years at Trek Bicycles, Leslie now helps companies be strategic with their marketing.

Contact: leslie@previshmarketing.com

Website: www.previshmarketing.com

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