(Ryan Patrick is a contributing editor to The Daily Blur. He’s not only handsome but a mighty fine writer. You can check out his growing archive of posts here.)
Every child knows which house has the good candy on Halloween.
Y’know, that one house that gives out BIG candy bars. Or little gift bags with assorted goodies. Or plastic knick-knacks.
Sure, kids will go to any porch-lit house for candy. But they’ll make their parents drive out of their way to visit the house that’s giving out the good stuff.
But it’s not just houses on Halloween. Kids know which businesses give out the good stuff, too.
My cousin, Carrie Waller, posted this on Facebook yesterday:
See? Even kids know which doctors give out the good candy.
More and more, children are influencing parents’ buying decisions. A recent study found that 71 percent of U.S. parents get their kids’ input before buying something.
And, hooboy, our kids can be persuasive.
McDonald’s learned this years ago when they started telling kids, “We think you should have a TOY with your meal!” Ever since, kids yell, moan, beg, and cry until mom gives in and pulls into the drive-thru.
So, what about your business? Do you give kids a little something extra to help persuade the parents to stop at your shop? If not, are you willing to give it a try?
I can hear some of you saying, “Ryan, I don’t even sell children’s merchandise. What can I do?”
Good question. Here are a few random ideas:
- Financial institution/planner: Play money or bank
- Outdoor equipment dealer: Seeds and a flower pot
- Eye doctor: Funny glasses
- Paint store: Finger paints, kid’s smock, or a paintbrush
- Appliance store: Magnetic children’s picture frame
- Barber: Mustache temporary tattoos
- Western store: Horse toy or sheriff’s badge
- Pet store: Animal finger puppets
- Electrician: Anything that glows in the dark
- HVAC: Small hand-held battery operated fan
- Contractor: Free custom built swing set with every new home
Bonus Idea: Give out kids-only punchcards. After ten visits, the child gets a special prize. Don’t be chintzy. Give ‘em something nice. Kids will want to fill those cards as fast as they can.
NOTE: Do NOT give away items that make a lot of noise. Noisy toys = Irritated Parents.
Most of these items are sold in bulk and can be found fairly inexpensive online. If you have to, take the money out of your marketing budget.
Believe me, kids talk. Word will get around.
Soon everyone will know that you’re the house that gives out the cool stuff.