I’m a Victim of Pre Tween Peer Pressure

I admit it. I’m a victim (or rather my wife is)

This summer we bought my 8 year old son a back pack for the new school he’s attending.

It’s not his first school so we bought him a cool Jansport backpack with army motif and straps that look like they’d support a Sherman Tank (should he every need to lug one of those to school.)

Day 1: Wife arrives at new school and is amazed by sea of colorful and multihued wheeling backpacks from Zuca. Heard of these guys? Maybe I’m not “hip”, “cool”, or “with it” (my kids say I’m not anyway), but I had never seen or heard of this brand until my wife comes home that day.

Wife “*ALL* the kids have these Zuca bags, they wheel them around, they’re cool, our son should be cool, he needs to have one too, I don’t want him to feel left out”

Me “How much”

Wife “Well they’re kind of expensive, they’re used for ice hockey and stuff”

Me “We live in Las Vegas, I doubt if ice hockey is going to be a popular outdoor sport this winter, does he really need a bag to carry ice skates? How much?”

Wife “Well they start at $150”

Me <thud> I have fainted.

Day 2: I take my son to school and trip over about 350 Zuca bags like a minefield of multi-rainbow cubes

I ask a parent if the bags are practical and worth mortgaging the house to buy.

Random parent “Well everyone has them” 

Day 3: Pick my son up from school

Son “Dad, can I have a Zuca? Can I? Can I? Can I?”

This “Can I?” tirade continues relentlessly on the 3 minute walk to the car, that actually takes about 5 mins because I trip over 3 Zucas on the way.

Day 4: Wife comes home with Zuca and lighter wallet.

Day 5: My son beams as he drags a colorful cube with a handle to school, struggling to pull it up the curb, with the little LED lights flashing with every roll.

<Sniff> It’s so nice to see my 8 year old grow up into an easily influenced consumer. Makes a marketer happy to know we can catch them earlier and earlier.

What does this mean to you?: Have a product aimed at pre tweens? Give it away to 10 and see if another 90 (or nine thousand) coming knocking at your door… the viral power of youthful youth is more infectious than a sniffle at recess.

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