Spoodles and Pester Power

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Spoodles and Pester Power

By John Stanley McDonalds built a global business by understanding these two generational groups. Can you build a better business by understanding them better? Spoodles (spoiled toddlers to you and me) are aged between 0 and 5 years old and although not purchasers of garden products, they have parents who are. These parents are looking for easy parking, pram friendly parking and access around the garden centre is essential. Plus, changing facilities in the toilets are essential. I know of one store in Canada that provides talcum Powder, wipes and disposable diapers in their changing rooms. When asked if they get stolen, the answer is occasionally, of course. But, as a retailer he had to provide services for the majority of his customers who used the facility. The Jones Generation, who we will analyse in a future article, are the generation who have children that fits into Pester Power, the 5 year olds to 15 year olds. The Jones Generation should be the biggest spenders in your garden centre. The research shows that those with children, allow the children to decide where they should shop, it�s less stress. You had better be child friendly or you will lose these customers to your competitors. Garden centres often target children as potential buyers, the reason for this is that a child who gardens is more likely to be a gardener when they become adults. The lifetime value of such a customer is tremendous. In South Africa, the Garden Centre Association started a nationwide children�s garden club. This is held in garden centres and co-sponsored with Nedland Bank, one of the country�s major banks. Many garden centres have their own children�s department as a focal point for this target group. Child Friendly My own local garden centre, Zanthorrea Nursery, has always ensured the team is child friendly. My 18 years old daughter still talks about the fact that when she was a child the garden centre team always greeted her, they picked up a flower from the floor or a plant and handed it to her. This was treasured all the time she was at the garden centre, taken home and put in a vase at home. Now you know why Zanthorrea has maintained our loyalty. Do�s<> Don�ts<><><> Ensure all the team greet children<> Put negative signs up that say children must be kept on a leash<><><> Offer the children a gift such as a flower <> Offer children chocolates, you may offend the parents<><><> Ensure the play area is adventurous, but safe<> Have a boring children�s play area, you are up against McDonald�s play areas<><><> Ensure poisons are at least 1m above ground level<> Put poisons in children�s grab positions<><><> Create a children�s zone in the garden centre<> Talk down to these consumers; you will lose them for life<><><> Create a children�s email garden newsletter<> If a child misbehaves, tell them off in front of people (talk to their parents first)<><><> Have an Easter Egg Hunt<> Sell poisonous plants to children (I have seen it happen) Ensure you have a kid safe, kid fun garden centre. Next month we will look at the next generation. John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 25 years experience in 15 countries. John works with retailers around the world assisting them with their merchandising, staff and management training, customer flow, customer service and image. www.johnstanley.cc