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My Son Is Already Making His Christmas Wish List. It’s August.

James Warren August 27, 2016
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Last night, my son was on his laptop, looking at laptops on Best Buy. He’s had this laptop for several years. It has performed admirably and appears to still be in great working condition. I asked him why he was looking at new computers. Knowing how much he uses his laptop – he composes music and designs rollercoasters online – I suspected a new computer request was on the horizon.

He said, “Well, I’m deciding what I want to ask you and Mom for, for Christmas.”

I thought about this just a little too much throughout the evening. As a parent, perhaps I was just annoyed at the creep of Christmas into the final few days of summer. At the same time, the marketer in me was intrigued by how this scene had just taken place in my own house.

This morning, I watched coverage of Best Buy’s earnings report from earlier this week and learned that they had beaten estimates. Well, what other signs did I need?

So I continued the Q&A after breakfast.

“Why did you go to Best Buy?” I asked.

“Because everyone knows that’s where you go for computers,” he replied without looking up at me from his laptop.

I waited in silence to get his attention. When he finally glanced up at me, I asked, “Why do you think that?”

“Well, that’s where we got this computer, right?” He said this more as a matter of fact than as a question.

I nodded thoughtfully and silently. This was his cue to return to his work.

I am reminded of three truths thanks to this incredibly unscientific study (n=1):

  1. Loyalty is a thing.
  2. Customer experience really impacts loyalty.
  3. My son is a planner.

I don’t know if this kind of behavior is why more retailers start marketing holiday shopping earlier each year, or if it’s the earlier marketing that made my son start thinking about Christmas presents in August.

Either way, for Best Buy’s sake, I hope they know how to reach him – and me – when the time to buy comes. Then again, maybe they already have.


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