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The 24th annual Brand Keys Back-to-School (B2S) survey conducted among 7,950 U.S. households (with school-age children pre-school through 12th grade) indicated slightly higher spends YOY. The average-spend – $730.02 – is a combination of consumer confidence and tax reform, but mostly due to consumer technological smarts and networking.

Regionally, B2S spending looked like this:

Northeast:     $817.60

West:              $728.08

Midwest:        $700.80

South:             $673.60

And yes, those are the hard numbers households expect to spend, but “value,” isn’t just pricing.

Real value is brand differentiation and brand engagement, and how consumers see brands meeting their expectations. Retail brands that can emotionally engage consumers will be seen as surrogates for price-based added-value.

Brands that have learned that lesson will benefit most over the nearly 4 months that now make up the B2S marketplace. For specifics on what and where B2S consumers are spending, click here.

These days, providing more than just low-lower-lowest prices is a fundamental lesson back-to-school retailers have to already mastered if they hope to just pass the B2S break-even profitability test.

Retailers that develop more loyal and engaged customers, on the other hand, will see bottom lines that translate in Quarterly “Report Cards” as A+.

 


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

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