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Non Speaque

August 20, 2010

The cutest thing (and probably the most surprising thing) happened to me at work the other day. A man and his two kids were checking out at my register. Oh the register: the lovely place where you get to stare at yummy snacks but don’t get to eat it until your break. In principles of marketing in high school, you learn that placing items like snacks and soft drinks by the registers is a marketing strategy to get impulse buyers to buy… impulsively. (But you probably already figured that out.) Well the younger of the two kids wanted a particular item at the register but the dad said no. The kid insisted on begging up to the point that he started changing languages. The kid tells the dad “Comprenez-vous? I want [this].” What is remarkable about this (in my opinion) was that the boy didn’t say “Comprende.”. The boy said “Comprenez-vous.” If the boy had spoken Spanish as opposed to French I would have probably ignored the fact. That wasn’t the case, however, and perhaps my enthusiasm in the kid’s choice of language encouraged the kid to continue to ask for whatever item he wanted.

Another impulsive buyer situation involved a mother and a young daughter. I don’t remember what the girl had wanted (I serve about 100 customers a day; you lose track), but the mother told her no. Although I only took the freshman level of the class, whenever I recognize a principles of marketing statement, I get all excited. The mother had trained the girl to understand exactly why companies place impulse items in front-end. It was so cute and so smart. I guess working at my job gives me the feeling that I’m the new host of “Kids Say the Darnedest Things.”

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