Departments collaborate for student's product
April 22, 2010 10:35 PM
Students from entirely different departments are coming together for a common cause: marketing.
Seth Quest, an industrial design major at SF State, developed the BahCase, a laptop carrier made from sustainable materials, earlier this year and has enlisted students within the marketing department to help promote his eco-friendly product.
"I saw this as an opportunity to finally collaborate and work with others," Quest said.
In early February, Quest approached the Marketing Association, a student organization sponsored by the marketing department, asking for creative ideas to better market and promote his design.
Students within the Association accepted the challenge and have been working on a marketing plan since February.
Their goal is to help promote Quest's MacBook Pro-specific laptop case, made out of 100 percent virgin merino wool. Aside from being a renewable resource, the wool serves as a great marketing tool as well.
Many of the promotional techniques involved with the BahCase involve the use of sheep. The case's Web site features a sheep on the opening page -even the name of the product works as a play on words.
Viral resources, like YouTube, are also a huge part of the Association's marketing plan. They have planned a YouTube channel featuring comedic videos and mini-commercials that they hope will entertain and spread brand awareness to the public.
There are other ways, however, that the Association plans on getting the word out about BahCase that don't necessarily include the use of technology.
"Guerilla marketing is an extreme way of getting people's attention," said Steven Severn, a student of the Association. "It is a non-traditional marketing tactic."
Severn is in charge of guerilla marketing for BahCase. He hopes to get people on the streets of Union Square dancing with cardboard cutouts promoting the product.
President of the marketing association, Jordon Hodgson, 21, believes that what they are doing with the BahCase is unique because it provides students with the opportunity to integrate everything they've learned with the Quest's knowledge, even though he is a student from a totally different discipline.
"The Marketing Association doesn't want to do many barbecues. We want to be hands-on," Hodgson said.
All of the students involved are able to utilize everything they have learned in their classrooms and apply that knowledge in more of a real-life setting, something that doesn't often happen in college.
But the arrangement has more positive impacts.
Using the Marketing Association as his promotional team has helped Quest save money, something he learned to do after randomly buying an advertisement in a local San Francisco magazine, Asterisk. But the advertisement didn't calculate substantial Web traffic for his site.
As students struggle with state budget cuts to public higher education, saving money is a priority.
"We are low-budget," Hodgson said. "We're doing everything free to increase product sales."
Elizabeth Sanchez, a 19-year-old liberal studies major, says that her main concern is being able to spend as little money as possible when looking for something to house her laptop.
"I didn't consider the environment when I bought my laptop case," said Sanchez.
Although price is an issue for many college students, the Marketing Association, along with Quest, hope to appeal to those who are looking for a simple and modern laptop case that also happens to be 100 percent sustainable and biodegradable.
"We hope to strike an environmental chord, but that's not all we are shooting for," Hodgson said.
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