Question: Which is more difficult—getting on a kid’s wish list or staying on it long enough to get purchased?
Answer: Ahh…the wish list conundrum. This is not an easy question to answer unless I respond “both.”
I don’t have the answer per se, but I do have perspective. Let’s start with some perspective on kids and their wish lists. Typically, kids aren’t constrained on their wish list size. So, let's assume a kid’s wish list surpasses her parents’ budget. Because parents are motivated to “delight” their kids, they are going to go as deep into the list as they can. Kids start developing their holiday wish list in earnest in early to mid-October…and yet parents make the bulk of holiday purchases in the 3-4 weeks leading up to Christmas. So, surviving on a wish list for 8-10 weeks is somewhat of a herculean task.
Beyond that inconvenient reality, I sympathize with marketers today given the imperative to support their fall launches in response to August “chase-cancel” retailer decisions. Clearly, retailers seek to push as much of the risk onto the manufacturers as possible. Maintaining retailer support to get re-orders after initial launch quantities forces marketers away from the proven axiom of “spend behind the business.” Relatively few toy sales occur in August, so in essence, we’re stuck “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Every dollar we spend in August is a dollar we can’t spend to drive demand when most consumer purchase decisions are made.
Some thoughts about how to navigate this challenging path to victory:
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