Is Your Chapter a Wal-mart or a Target?
Target and Wal-Mart –Both are mega-retailers that sell an unimaginable amount of merchandise to consumers. Take a moment and think what the average Wal-Mart shopper looks like. Now do the same for the average Target shopper. Chances are your imaginary Target shopper is more upscale and hip than your imaginary Wal-Mart patron. Even though both retailers sell basically the same products for the same price, Target has done wonders with its marketing. Fraternities can learn a great deal by following its example and in the following article, we offer up three initial tips to get your creative juices flowing and thinking about Rush.
Differentiate your chapter
Although both stores sell many of the same products, from the moment you walk into a Target, it’s extremely clear that you’re not in Wal-Mart. Wide aisles and cheerful displays make a more inviting shopping experience than the drab and industrial Wal-Mart. Fraternities on your campus are all selling the same thing. Make your house stand out by making HOW you sell the fraternity experience different from other chapters on campus. Emphasize HOW your fraternity is different from the others out there. Different is good and catering to a niche of incoming freshmen can do wonders for recruitment.
Target’s “target market” isn’t your average blue collar Joe. They’ve carefully crafted a highly successful advertising campaign and carved out a niche of their own in the retail market. Do the same for your chapter house. Instead of using the Wal-Mart approach and handing out bids to everybody that walks through your door, set you target market a bit higher. Pow-wow with your chapter and decide on a set of attributes that you want recruits to have. GPA, Extra circular activities, or some other social attribute, set your goals higher than they currently are and make sure people know about it by your actions on campus.
Diversity = Success
Think of how many items Target sells. They literally have something for everyone. Your chapter should be the same way. Don’t pigeonhole your chapter into being a bunch of clones. Emphasize different member’s tastes. It makes your chapter appear more rounded and will offer more to recruits than the other houses out there. Just because you recruited heavily from incoming freshmen with 3.25+ GPA’s who play baseball doesn’t mean you can’t also go after the band kid. A well rounded chapter is a happy chapter.
This isn’t a week, or month long process. It’s a slow and important long term goal for maintaining the health of your chapter. You want to carve out a clear and unique reputation around campus that will be easy for new recruits to recognize. Instead of offering the same old, same old to recruits, utilize the same principles Target. Once you’ve done these things, recruitment can take on a whole new aspect and your house will grow to a size that you could only imagine.