Building brand advocates early

Sarah Miller | January 31, 2014

Image of little boy at Lowe's Learn & Grow programAs someone who works full-time and is a parent of two small children, I’m always looking for ways to consolidate steps and save more time to spend with my family on the weekends. As much as we’d love to spend the entire weekend doing fun stuff, there’s inevitably the not-so-fun stuff that has to get done too.

I love the Lowe’s Build & Grow program because it consolidates steps for me. We’re able to take our son (and one day our baby daughter, too) to create a small toy that is easy to put together and he gets to keep. The program has been around for a number of years, but after going with my family to do it, I really had to marvel at the program’s genius.  Here’s how it works:

You’re first highly encouraged to sign up online and sign a waiver/registration form. On the designated morning, you arrive at the workshop located in the back of the Lowe’s store near the lumber department. It typically takes about 15 minutes for your child to build his/her toy. Upon completion, your child gets a certificate, an apron with a patch for each session and of course – the toy.

And here’s where I think it’s just brilliant:

  • They promote the sessions ahead of time – giving you a reason to purposefully plan a trip to Lowe’s first thing Saturday morning.
  • When you get to the store, the workshop is located in the back, so you walk all the way through the store, past all of the things you might need to buy, to get to your final toy-building destination.
  • Not only does your child get a toy, but they get a badge. No one has just one badge. Everyone wants to earn LOTS of badges.
  • The certificate your child gets also gets you 10% off any purchase you make that day. And guess what, now you’ve got to walk all the way to the front of the store with that handy-dandy coupon, walking past all sort of goodies your little 10% off coupon is good toward.

Brilliant! Lowe’s has used tried-and-true brand advocacy techniques to not only create an enjoyable experience for you and your child, but to help drive brand preference and ensure they get your weekend DIY purchase thanks to a newly found 10% off coupon. I just had to marvel at their genius.

But what if they could make it even better? What if…

  • You could invite your child’s friends to join them for a playdate at Lowe’s using an “invite a friend” email too?
  • You could upload your photos to Instragram and be part of #IbuiltatoyatLowes?
  • You had a reason to go online and share the photo of your child’s toy on the Lowe’s Facebook page?

I have to commend Lowe’s for creating a fun, family-friendly activity that my kid enjoys and is pain free, from a mom’s perspective. I also have to give them props for implementing some great traditional advocacy efforts to build little advocates.  What will be interesting to see is if Lowe’s will embrace new media and the media consumption habits of parents to make their successful advocacy program work even harder for them. After all, if you build it…


Want to receive our weekly blog insights? Subscribe now.