Grandfathered Marketing

– Derek Light, eMarketing Manager

London at her favorite spot on the beach.

First a little background, my Dad lives in Virginia about 850 miles away from my four and half year old daughter in Illinois.  He’s seen her no more than a handful of times in her life, so how is it that she asks about him every day?  Creating and marketing the ‘Grandfather’ brand.  To be clear I don’t think dear old Dad sat down wrote a marketing strategy for his geographically challenged relationship.  However there was a sense of urgency to connect, stay top of mind and to let her know that he has a profound interest in her.  Isn’t this what we’re all trying to do?

Creating the Peep Eye Brand

Grandpa?  No.  Papa?  No.  Granddad? No.  The answer; Peep eye, yes, Peep eye.  What is a ‘peep eye’, I’m told it’s Southern for peek-a-boo, though I grew up in VA and never heard of it; I think he made it up.

He started playing ‘peep eye’ (A.K.A. peek-a-boo) and became Peep eye, definitely a differentiator from everything else that is grabbing at the attention of a little girl.

Brand Consistency

Not once has a phone call, letter, card or gift come to the house from my father without it having the Peep eye name attached, usually more than once.

Brand Repetition

At least once a week she hears his voice.  She gets something in the mail once a month, nothing big or expensive, it’s about getting the package, being thought of.

Brand Promotion

I’ll call ‘gift giving’ holidays, promotions.  It’s something that goes a little above the normal keep in touch ritual.  I’ll focus on two gifts that were genius; a nice plush kid’s chair (think mini Lazy Boy) and a bag of 100 plastic balls like you would find kids jumping in at Chuck-E-Cheese.  The chair is comfortable and aside from stature doesn’t look like a kids chair, so it stays out; she sits in it all the time.  He specifically bought the plastic balls because he knew they would get lost and found all over the place.  And every time she finds one, who is she thinking about?

Take Away

These are all reasons why she was beside herself excited to see this guy two weeks ago.  It’s not like we have pictures of him all over the place, I think there are one or two at the most.  My dad had the urgency and desire to stay at the forefront of his granddaughter’s thoughts, with hard work and consistency he’s been successful.

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