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“I sell auto-parts” and other excuses to not run a back-to-school campaign


As plucky young things sharpen their HB pencils, set your excuses aside and get ready to run an awesome back-to-school campaign – no matter what you sell.

Increasing sales during the Back-to-School retail cycle is not exclusive to bright stationery, kids’ clothing, and shoe retailers.

Turn for a moment to your local grocery store. They are targeting customers with easy dinner products. Kraft, the packaged food brand, is currently advertising easy lunch ideas on their website: “Find tons of fantastic lunch ideas right here.”

One of our users “Walls Need Love” is using smart catalogs to cleverly target teachers with their school inspired wall decals:

We’re taking some inspiration from Walls Need Love and encouraging you to run a back-to-school campaign regardless of what you sell.

If your product does not target the traditional back-to-school crowd (i.e. students, and parents of school-aged kids) you are can still run a back-to-school campaign to increase sales and grow.

If your product does target the traditional back-to-school crowd do not worry you are not late. There are regions of the United States and Canada where school starts after Labor Day and others where supply shopping happens after the first few days of school (i.e. many college and university students).

Plus for the first time in retailer history the #2 spot to shop for back to school is online sites, right after discount/value department stores (i.e. Wal-Mart). If you’re selling online you have an advantage.

Target your market with the inspiration of back-to-school.

The market you already target likely has fond memories of going back to school; new stationary, new clothes, new shoes, new lunch-bag….effectively back-to-school gives throngs of young people a fresh start, a second “New Years” if you will.

People of all ages have memories of this “newness and gently tugging on the heartstrings and reminding your market, regardless of the demographic, of that emotion is powerful.

Examples and ideas:

(1) “What if I sell hardware?!” Okay, if you sell door handles and door handle parts consider creating a special back-to-school smart catalog exclusively for your past wholesalers. Include your newest products and appeal to their human desire of fresh starts. Messaging could be along the lines of: “A new start for students and a new start for you – check out our latest models of door handles”.

(2) “What if I sell plus size underwear for women?!” Actually this is an awesome product to market during back-to-school. You could run a limited time discount targeted at curvylicious ladies and buxom moms. Appeal to the timeliness to refresh the intimate wardrobe. For moms, encourage them to buy something special for themselves as they gear up to send their little ones off to school.

(3) “What if I sell something that just does not apply?!”A little creativity goes a long way. If you sell something as niche as grass-fed high-quality cuts of meat you can write a 3-part series on the nutritional and brain benefits of eating high-quality meat, suggest recipes, and a link to your catalog. Target the cooks in the family to take a 30-day challenge to eat only the best meat out there for the first month of school. Target yuppies to to do the same. Again, it does not matter who your market is, appeal to the “fresh-start-desire” inherent in everyone.

You can use the essence of back-to-school, “newness”, to sell whatever it happens to be you’re selling.

-Divya, with Now In Store


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