Mud Pie Texas, a retailer with locations in Frisco and Highland Village, has turned to digital retailing students at the University of North Texas for new ideas to grow their business.
In UNT’s Department of Merchandising and Digital Retailing, projects are designed to help students identify and solve everyday business challenges. This one, which took place this past semester, also gives them a chance to gain real-world experience in their chosen career. In exchange, the business gets a new perspective and ideas for marketing.
“They gave us ideas we had thought about, but didn’t necessarily know how to implement and didn’t think would be beneficial,” Tiffany Jenkins, one of the owners of Mud Pie Texas said. “But when you have multiple groups giving some of the same ideas, it makes you think about putting it at the top of your to-do list.”
But as well as the project being a way for these retailers to unlock their potential, it also provides a valuable learning opportunity for the students involved. Yasamin Gholipour, one of these students, said that the project helped her gain experience that potential jobs and internships are looking for.
“Professor (Linda) Mihalick did tell us that digital retail, as most careers, call for a lot of group work and collaboration and that this project would help us prepare for that,” Gholipour said. “Learning how to work together and communicate was definitely important, along with presenting to the owners as I have never presented to anyone other than my peers.”
Some of the ideas that the students have brought to the table include text messaging customers with sales and new rewards programs. They helped the company improve their social media and take advantage of their location to market primarily to local customers.
As well as letting retailers receive valuable feedback that can help them improve marketing strategies, this program also gave students an opportunity to gain real experience they’ll need in the future, and learn more about the careers they’re looking for in digital retailing.