According to 400 US parents, this is what they associate with 'Back to School' this year

Back to school

For some retailers, Back to School is an even bigger event than the holiday season. However, uncertainty surrounding in-store shopping and whether or not kids will physically be back in school in the fall means that this season will undoubtedly be different.


Notably, more than 25% of parents expect to take advantage of flexible schedules or remote learning options when the fall 2020 school year begins. With this significant change, stores and brands have to reevaluate how they cater to the new needs of the today’s consumer. 


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To learn more about the mindset of today’s Back to School shopper, we ran a research study with 400 US parents of school-aged children to understand the key associations consumers have with Back to School, how they anticipate conducting their Back to School shopping in 2020, and how brands can best message to them to drive Back to School retail success.


Using a Single Association Test (SAT) we measured how strongly consumers subconsciously associate 32 characteristics and attributes towards this time of the year. The top motivational drivers for Back to School are focused around curiosity and trust. Within these blocks, the top implicit associations revolve around ‘success’, ‘progress’, ‘familiarity’, and ‘excitement.'  Consumer’s do not associate emotions like ‘prestige’, ‘exclusivity’ and ‘spontaneity’ with Back to School. 


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Brands should think about how their back to school marketing campaigns can tap into these moments of curiosity and trust, especially when targeting parents. 


While parents highly associate Back to School with being an emotional event, they don’t associate it with emotions like sadness and worry. Despite covid-19, negative emotions are not highly associated with Back to School, which is important for brands to consider when positioning themselves and their Back to School campaigns.


The full insights dashboard including insights into how consumers anticipate they will conduct their Back to School shopping in 2020, and how brands can best message to them to drive Back to School retail success is available below. 

Access the full Insights Dashboard now!

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