Posts tagged banners
As both a simple and effective marketing technique, banners have become an integral part of nearly every college campus. Over time, however, events come to an end and designs are inevitably altered, leaving countless banners to simply go to waste. Recognizing this issue, Iowa State University’s University Marketing Department decided to find a more eco-friendly use for their old banners by partnering with priorLIFE, a green initiative for Britten, Inc., one of the largest banner producers in the U.S.
Through their partnership, the school was able to send their unused banners to priorLIFE where they were refabricated into reusable tote bags. Approached by University Marketing, the book store was then offered the option of reselling these unique items.
“When I first heard about the product I was a little unsure,” admits Amy DeLashmutt, Iowa State University Book Store Marketing Manager. “But, the company agreed to send a sample, and once I saw it I was completely sold!”
Available in limited quantities, the large tote bags come complete with two pockets. Positioned as a unique piece of campus history, they were even customized with a label featuring information on the school’s Live Green Initiative. And, because they’re made of vinyl, the bags are also waterproof and, therefore, extremely multipurpose.
“They are much more than we expected!” adds DeLashmutt. “I actually bought one for myself, and I love the fact that I can take it along to the beach for wet towels, or have my kids spill juice on it, and not have to worry about ruining the bag!”
To get the word out about their newest product, the store took a simple approach. In-store signs featured photos of the actual banners flying on campus, highlighting how the bags were made. Leveraging their online presence, ISU Book Store then posted similar information and photos on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as their website. A prominent display within the store called out visitor’s attention, while a press release, through University Marketing, gained them a spot on the local news broadcast!
“We didn’t have to spend a dime on advertising,” she said. “We used our resources strategically to gain as much free press as possible. These bags are so unique that they sell very well on their own; you just have to tell people about them!”
As a result of their efforts, the store was able to sell 127 of their nearly 300 bags, at a retail price of $29.99, in just over a week! Because no two bags are alike, customers were excited about the prospect of sorting through the large variety and finding their favorite banners from years past. “We’ve seen two types of customers buying the bags,” Delashmutt explained, ”there’s those that are cause-oriented and looking for a reusable product, and also customers that just think it’s really cool. I’d say it’s about a 60:40 divide.”
The one common denominator between the two types of customers, though, is that they both are coming in and looking for the unique item, bringing welcomed traffic to the ISU Bookstore. “We were fortunate to be at the right place at the right time,” she said. “The Marketing Department could have gone to any retailer to sell these bags, but they chose us. That’s why I think it’s so important to be connected to your campus.”