While in the process of rebranding their store, the newly-named Chico State Wildcat Store decided they should reach out and get input from the perspectives that matter most on campus: the students! Soliciting and responding to their feedback, the store has adapted their strategies in order to better meet the needs of their customer base.
“We had one of the marketing classes on campus do a survey for us last spring,” explained director Steve Dubey. “From their responses, we learned that they perceived the store to be somewhat dry and boring. Since we were already rebranding, we figured it was a great time to address the issue, so we challenged the store’s marketing students to come up with a way to shift their peers’ opinions.”
The marketing students then devised a monthly promotion to recognize school spirit and bring some fun back to store.
“Wildcat Wednesdays takes place on the first Wednesday of each month, and we host a different kind of special event each time,” Dubey said. “It’s accomplished two major goals for us; it reinforces our new brand image and also enables us to offer our students something that has nothing to do with trying to sell them something.”
Planned entirely by the marketing students, the store has hosted everything from a scavenger hunt to a pie eating contest on these designated days.
“Our only requirement is that the event be relevant to students and fun!” he added.
During each event, students simply have to wear at least one piece of Chico State gear to participate.
“It really boosts school spirit,” said Dubey.
The marketing students also try and make the various activities coincide with the calendar, planning the events to match certain themes. For instance, in February, the store’s WildCat Wednesday promotion was called ‘Kiss the iPod’ in honor of Valentine’s Day.
“It was definitely one of the most popular promotions we’ve had,” he said. “A pair of students would have to stand a certain amount of feet apart while holding an iPod between their lips, it was pretty amusing for others to watch!”
Likewise, the store celebrated Thanksgiving with a Turkey Twist in November!
“It was a giant game of Twister right in the store and students loved it!” Dubey explained. “Our marketing students plan and implement each part of the promotion, so in this particular instance they were the ones calling out the different positions and acting as judges. It works out great!”
To end off the year, the store most recently celebrated Wildcat Wednesday with a Customer Appreciation Day, as a way of thanking their loyal customers.
“Students, faculty, community members, and visitors came to the store to enjoy discounts, musical entertainment, complimentary food and coffee, and book signings by local authors,” he said. “Throughout the day we gave away gift baskets, a pair of Beats by Dre headphones, a $100 gift card, and our grand prize of an iPad2, purchased through a co-op with MBS. It was a big success!”
Efforts to boost school spirit have, in fact, spread to other Associated Student programs and departments, such as Dining Services.
“They offer a 10% discount every Wednesday for any customer wearing school apparel,” Dubey described. “It’s been really exciting to see our marketing students’ efforts evolve since their genesis and expand campus wide.”
Other departments on campus aren’t the only ones recognizing the initiative, though. The activities have caught student attention, too!
“They really enjoy the events and have been very excited about all the new things we’re doing,” he said. “It’s a way to form a different kind of relationship with them and we’re looking forward to the opportunities that could stem from that in the future!”