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The Grandchildren Factor: Motivator for Technology Adoption and Moving

by admin on April 25th, 2011

Go Blazers!  This is the cry from our household as we cheer on the Portland Trailblazers in their National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoff battle with the Dallas Mavericks.

Growing up, I fondly remember going to Trailblazer basketball games with my grandfather.  We would eat peanuts out of the shell, he would quiz me on how to spell certain words, and we would enjoy cheering for our beloved team. 

Tonight, my son asked “Why do you cheer for the Portland Trailblazers?”  This is a good question considering we live across the country and have a professional NBA team in our own market-area.

The answer:  “When I was your age, my grandfather took me to Blazer games, and I have cheered for them ever since.”

Grandparents are doing more and more for their grandchildren these days.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2007, 6.2 million grandparents reported that a grandchild under 18 lived with them, and 2.5 million grandparents provided direct basic needs for their grandchildren beyond housing. 

Like grandparents, grandchildren also highly influence the lifestyle of their grandparents.  Why are women 55+ one of the fastest growing demographics on Facebook?  One reason is connectivity with grandchildren who rely increasingly on text messaging and social networking sites like Facebook.

Why are grandparents moving to age-restricted communities even if they never had roots in the area before?  A key reason is so the grandparents can play an active and meaningful role in the lives of their grandchildren who live near that area.  

What impact does this information have on lifestyle communities around the country?  Want to win the allegiance of your addressable market? 

Make sure you can engage both grandparent and grandchild (or even great grandchildren when it comes to the Silent Generation).  Good places to start: provide interactive art centers; multi-generational zones throughout the community; and menus that also cater to younger tastes.  Also, create programming that invites generations to come together, such as Grandchild Movie Days, Grandchild Pancake Breakfasts, Game Nights, Buses to professional sports events, and the like.  Communities that are thoughtful about these connections can really differentiate themselves in the market.

If only my grandfather was still around to take my son out for peanuts at a Blazers game!

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One Comment
  1. A key reason is so the grandparents can play an active and meaningful role in the lives of their grandchildren who live near that area.

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