From cupcakes to gooey bars, to cinnamon bars and sugar cookies, Sugar Mama Bakery has more than just its delicious treats to keep the customers coming.
This week, groups of Illinois State University communication majors will pitch their ideas to promote the business of the recently opened Uptown Normal location. Students are looking to attract a new demographic specific to the area: ISU students and faculty.
“They have an absolutely great product that students and faculty would love,” Dr. Rebecca Hayes’, assistant professor at the School of Communication, said.
Students presenting their campaigns are enrolled in Public Relations Management and Campaigns taught by Hayes. They have been working on the project for the past semester, developing ideas, performing research to implement the ideas and producing a campaign in order to increase the business of Sugar Mama Bakery.
Six different agency groups were created in the class. Each group has competed against one another in order to come up with the plan that best fits the needs of the bakery.
“Since we are new to Uptown Normal, our new demographic that we aren’t used to reaching is the ISU population, so they are helping us come up with ways to do that now that we are almost right on campus,” Krista Gaff, co-owner of Sugar Mama Bakery, said.
Students are required to put together a campaign book for Sugar Mama Bakery that outlines the details, visuals, research and plans for the business. Each group will pitch their ideas this week, and Gaff along with Manager Sarah Cisco will choose a winning group, whose ideas will be implemented in August.
In addition to a winning group, details from any other group could potentially be used in order to promote the business of Sugar Mama Bakery.
“It’s a really nice benefit that we get these really talented groups that are creative and if we like something, we can implement it,” Gaff said.
Ideas could range from updates to the website, print media, advertisements in the newspapers, radio commercials or an increase in social media, all done within a budget that Gaff and Cisco have created.
Gaff and Cisco said groups may also use Sugar Mama’s charity work as a way to boost business. Each month, Sugar Mama chooses a local charity and creates a cupcake design that relates to the organization and raises money from the profits of that specific cupcake.
Groups have been keeping their plans quiet from each other and also from the bakery, in order to keep the competition fair.
“The ultimate goal is how to promote Sugar Mama Bakery to the ISU Students first and foremost and secondly to the staff and it will be interesting to see what creative ideas they come up with,” Gaff said.
“They are developing a PR plan for us and we don’t know exactly what each of their plans are going to entail.”
Pitches will be held during class time on Tuesday and Thursday of this week.