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Great Back-to-School Messaging

Post by Nancy Dowd
Posted August 27, 2013 in

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You’ve hardly had a moment to catch your breath after your summer reading programming and it’s already time to start creating those materials for back to school night. Getting the messaging right for your handouts is essential in order to get the best results. A fun way to start crafting that message is to take a look at what popular stores are using for their messaging. I did a quick search and came up with a variety of ways top stores are grabbing the attention of their customers.


Walmart uses fairly classic language adding easy, cool, and smart to the savings messaging. Working parents need easy -- how can you help make their lives easier?

  • Back to school made easy
  • More school for your money
  • Cool for school
  • Prep for School with A+ prices

J. Crew 

Ever notice how the cool stores never really use the word “cool?” They strike an interesting tone with the Insta-Outfits but I love the way they communicate with hip working mothers by introducing Jenny. Why not consider a similar approach? Do you have working mothers on staff who are juggling work and back to school?

  • Insta-Outfits for back to school and more
  • Looks we love for back to school 
  • Fall is always busy. Nobody knows that better than our crewcuts designer and mom of two, Jenny Cooper. So we tapped her for outfit advice, mom to mom (or dad).


Like J. Crew they use a little more conversation to woo shoppers. Style trumps cost savings as the main driver but the sales will close the deal. New is a powerful word. What new services are you offering this year that will help kids succeed? Combined with a cool layout style, you’ve got a winning combination.

  • Back to cool
  • We’re counting down the days to recess and bus stops -- but what to wear? We match our favorite school subjects with our favorite NEW ARRIVALS.

Old Navy

No surprise here. You don’t just save at Old Navy, you can buy clothes with babysitting money. They are the dollar store for clothes while still being cool. If they can do this, we can too. Free works with this crowd but it has to have a cool spin to it.

  • Back to school sale starting at $5


I always think libraries have the potential draw the Target audience through their doors. The whole stylish, sharp statement fits so nicely into what we are. Find your inner Target and have fun with it.

  • Look sharp, stay smart.
  • Great deals rule!

Barnes & Noble

They always do such a great job targeting their audiences and back-to-school promotions are no different. They address the needs of parents and teachers and have three segments for the students. I always love their copy. They provide great inspiration for librarians any day of the week. What makes this copy work is that they say it all in two sentences!

  • K-8
    It’s Elementary: find everything you need for the lunchbox set, including backpacks, pencil cases, art supplies, and kid-friendly electronics. Plus the world’s best selection of kid’s books to spark a lifetime of learning.
  • High School
    Straight-A Accessories: Whether it's studying for exams or applying for college, we've got the tools every teen needs for high school success. Shop our incredible classics catalog, find smart school supplies, and explore new worlds with our teen books selection.
  • College
    Campus Cool: College prepares students for the world outside; Barnes & Noble prepares them for college. Shop for textbooks, test prep, and professional books, plus the coolest bags to tote them around.