University Campus Coupons
Entrepreneurial Business Case
This is a case about a direct-marketing business that Michael Bronner created in 1980 when he was a junior at Boston University.
Bronner had bought discount coupon books for local stores and restaurants. Bronner had an idea that the books created value for the students, but that the books had the potential to create more value for the companies such as pizza stores and haircut places etc. who could increase their sales with students purchases.
Bronner realized that to succeed, he would have to increase distribution by putting a book in every student’s backpack.
Bronner realized that to make his idea successful there were several problems he had to solve. He knew that students were always short of cash and could not afford the books so he had to come up with a way to give them away for free. He also had to get the books to the student at a low cost so he could make some money.
To resolve the distribution problem (getting the books to the students) he did a deal with the Boston University’s housing department. The university would deliver the books to the school to make the school look like they were doing great things for the students. A win for both Bronner and the University
Bronner then made a deal with local businesses to pay a small fee to appear in the new book such that their coupons would be seen by all the students in the dorms at the University.
The idea took off and before long it grew to other campuses, then to downtown office buildings.
His innovation wasn’t the coupon book but his business model on how he made his idea work.