An account manager Brent Daniels has been on an e-commerce hot streak, says Wayne Martin, ASB’s VP of strategic operations support. In the last 24 months, Daniels has embraced e-commerce programs with just-in-time, on demand decorating capabilities as a value-added resource that attracts new customers.
Daniels first suggested ASB’s proprietary ACES e-commerce technology to Portland State University over a year ago. The school wanted to build branding around a program, “Portland State of Mind” that celebrated events around the Portland community and on campus.
Initially, ASB provided t-shirts with a Portland style and feel, designed by PSU student artists, which included images of a campus food cart and the “Victor Viking” school mascot. The tees were sold online and on campus, and were advertised in the school’s alumni newsletter, that goes out to some 100,000 people, says Daniels.
The success of the first year’s program led to a new program called “Fearless,” in which PSU students are encouraged to be fearless in their choice of academic pursuit. The new Fearless e-stores gives the students the ability to customize their apparel to proclaim their choice. They could be a “Fearless Architect,” or a “Fearless Teacher,” or “Fearless Fireman,” explains Daniels. The Fearless program is supported online by YouTube videos produced by students that explain the programs and how to order the merchandise.
Both programs have been very popular in terms of orders and visibility on campus, says Daniels. In addition, other clients in the collegiate market have approached him about the program, he adds.
Colleges and universities are one of the top markets for apparel today, says The Scarlet Markeer’s Mary Ellen Sokalsi, citing admissions, bookstores, athletic wear, fraternities and sororities as prospective niches.
“They either want hip, soft comfortable fashions, hardcore workout wear or spirit-boosting pride wear with a collegiate tone,” she says. “The fabrics, styling and imprint are all important. The synergy of the three can make or break a promotion.”