Marketing Your Retail Venues Award: Market at Munger

Marketing Your Retail Venues Award: Market at Munger


Stanford University
Palo Alto, CA

Opened: Fall 2009
Gross Sales/Day: $1,800

The Market at Munger is located in the Munger Graduate residence on the Stanford campus, giving it a somewhat older and more worldly clientele than the typical campus c-store. That helps account for some of the Market's more sophisticated offerings — gelato, organic produce, fresh sushi rolls — along with the c-store basics like fresh breads, deli items, Greek yogurts, oils and vinegars andf a bulk food section with over 30 items.

The sophisticated product mix has made Munger a draw for the undergraduate portion of the campus community as well as adult staffers.

To brand the store as a part of the Stanford fabric, the design captures the history of the school's community and its passion for high-quality dining. Shoppers, for example, are greeted by a large wall graphic of the La Peire & Sons Grocery Store where Stanford faculty did their shopping back in the late 1800s. The soffits hold quotes from famous chefs like Alice Waters and Julia Child, celebrating the joys of home cooking.

Marketing efforts focus on the 600 graduate residents of Munger, but also pay attention to the secondary market of undergraduates, other graduates and faculty/staff and visitors. To augment the use of student email lists for regular promotion “e-blasts,” the Munger marketing team partnered with student groups to install promotional door hangers in more than 4,000 graduate housing units.

Self-standing sign holders were also installed in Residence building lobbies to serve as dedicated “bllboards.” These tactics were validated with ongoing informal focus groups with various residents to confirm that such “guerilla tactics” are more effective in getting students' attention than more passive approaches.

Other promotional strategies have included holiday-themed events, parent care packages, cooking demos and tastings and a university-wide Healthy Taste of Stanford food fair event that attracts over a thousand faculty, staff and students to the store while also lighting up the University's Twitter community.

(For more, see the October 2010 FM or [4].)