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Travels with Boomer Nanas and Papas

Half of your boomer-age bank customers are grandparents. Overall, there are more than 80 million grandparents in the United States. Linking what your bank does to the “unconditional love” that grandparents have is a powerful way to connect.

As Dr. Korhnhaber, physician and founder of the Foundation for Grandparenting, said, “If grandparents did not exist, children would surely have invented them. They exhibit a strong emotional need for close attachment to at least one grandparent. When they see each other, they get very happy and light up.”

The connection between grandchildren and their boomer grandparents will continue to become stronger because boomers tend not to have a lot of children. With fewer grandchildren, they will be much closer to the ones they have. Each one is special, and they will invest more time and energy into their grandchildren.

You might tailor a portion of your annual trip planning to grandparent/grandchildren travel. You could use overnight, weekend or summer dates to provide overnight excursions, day trips or some form of mini travel programs. You might just plan local events for certain ages, say, 10- to 12-year-old grandchildren.

Consider arranging two-for-one discounts or special showings at amusement parks, science fairs, museums, animal shelters or zoos as part of your bank’s loyalty programs.

Another way to connect with grandchildren is for grandparents to volunteer to work at their school libraries, art rooms or science labs.

Educational or family-oriented travel venues are a special treat for grandparents who want to promote their deep feelings about the importance of these issues to children.

If your programs need new ideas, organize a Grandparent Council and solicit ideas for bringing these two generations together. Encourage them to share their thoughts and provide you with other ideas.

Grandparents want to educate their grandchildren to be better citizens and help others who need assistance and to show them how to understand the use of money. You might consider seminars about investing for grandchildren’s education, a natural fit for your bank that leads to increased banking and investment accounts.

You can show your customers’ support of grandchildren by featuring them in your bank newsletter, website or other communications.

No matter what you do to salute the many boomer customers who are fortunate enough to be grandparents, you will have touched an important part of their lives.

For a free copy of my “10 Tips for Deepening Relationships With Grandparents,” send me an email at