Shopping in your PJs: How a Children’s Hospital understands Shopper vs Consumer

If any of you readers have elementary aged children, you’re well aware of Pajama Day at school. Wake up and wear your jammies to school all day. Of course Moms don’t allow their girls to just wake up and go. No. They wake up, change them into new, freshly pressed pajamas, brush their hair, doll them up and then send them to school. Boys? Boys just wake up and go. Bedhead and all. But this post into about the reasons why parents want their girls looking their best and boys looking like…

This post highlights how marketing to the shopper was applied to a children’s hospital — a top ten hospital in the country. I, for unfortunate circumstances, spent the last three days at this children’s hospital with my son, who had a serious runaway bacteria in his stomach. The first morning, after a long night at the hospital caring for my son, I woke up, showered, shaved, deodorized, combed, changed and wandered off to find some food and fresh air. What I witnessed was nothing less than Parent Pajama Day at the hospital. Are all rules of public dress and hygiene suspended at this hospital? Did I not get the memo?

As I spent the next couple days becoming more familiar with my environment, I, too felt okay milling about in my flannel bottoms and two-sizes-too-large t-shirt. The hospital obviously took great care of children, but they knew who the shopper was. The Parents. They created an environment filled with places, spaces and activities for the adults to take care of their children and themselves.

For starters, the videos in the rooms had a vast selection of animated movies and a selection of PG-13 films, someone like I would enjoy. The library had two sections, one for kids and one for adults who want to relax or read more about their child’s medical condition. They even had extra prescription glasses, with the top 10 prescriptions, for those who forgot their reading glasses. The cafeteria, true to its “Fresh Marketplace” name, would rival Whole Foods quality. And they were fully equipped with free, fast-speed Wifi, phone chargers to borrow, and a wide variety of gourmet coffee for adults. Despite all the conveniences for adults they still had toys, play areas, and wagons to wheel out your child when it was time to go home.

Understanding your consumer AND shopper will always pay dividends for the retail environment, even if it means adults wear pajamas in your store.