Last week I reminisced about some of my Kool-Aid stand memories to set up a great event that was held at Coastal Carolina University. Students in a Management 309 class formed teams to participate in a lemonade stand competition. During the morning of September 15, these teams took over Prince Lawn with numerous lemonade stands, competing to see who could generate the most revenue. As I wrote in that day’s blog post, the tactics used were very creative.
Two days later a different Management 309 class set up shop on Prince Lawn and did what they could to raise the most money. Perhaps inspired by the class that went before them, Thursday’s crop of lemonade stands displayed even more creative revenue generating recipes and schemes. As I did last Tuesday, I thought I would shine the spotlight on these most recent summertime drink entrepreneurs.
The first stand I approached opted to go for the “mobile strategy.” The student working the stand told me that she was alone because her two other group members were out trying to recruit customers to visit their stand. However, this team was trying to attract a different type of audience. Instead of hassling students to stop by, the young marketers went right to staff and faculty members! I don’t know if our professional CCU employees responded well or not to the tactic but I definitely thought it was a great idea. The team also “sweetened” their stand by providing homemade lemonade.
Still fresh on my tour, I went to the next stand that definitely stood out. These particular students configured their stand to accept credit and debit cards! How cool. They explained to me that most students don’t really carry cash around campus and having the option to just swipe their card for a glass of lemonade is a convenience that would be enjoyed by all.
The original ideas kept coming. The next stand I visited offered cold bottled water with your choice of various lemonade flavor packets to choose from. You could mix your own lemonade drink, knowing exactly that the chief component of the concoction (the water of course) was fresh and pure. The team across from this group went with a much different approach. They were offering Starbucks lemonade, the only premium brand name drink available on Prince Lawn they assured me. Better yet, the group was selling the drink for a 1/3 of the price that Starbucks commands for it.
I strolled over to the next team and was greeted with two sturdy juice dispensers, one filled with regular lemonade and one filled with strawberry lemonade. The original option had lemon halves floating at the surface while the second option had full-sized strawberries at the top. The students proudly informed me that they were the only stand to offer fresh fruit in the product. Not only that, but the team made sure to grab the most strategic location on Prince Lawn, the area straight ahead from folks the moment they walk off of Wall Bridge.
I made the rounds to two more lemonade stands right next to each other. The first one offered regular lemonade but with a chance to get twice the amount. The group had a water pong table set up. If you purchased a glass you had the opportunity to take a shot. If you sunk the ping pong ball in a cup, you received a free glass of lemonade. The other group was selling blue raspberry lemonade. Although the clear blue liquid looked tempting in the milk jug, I think I liked the idea of teal lemonade from the previous class better.
The final two teams I visited also had unique twists. One of the groups had Gatorade coolers of lemonade and iced tea. Customers were invited to walk up and pour their own Arnold Palmers. The other group offered Capri Sun lemonade for those who wanted to travel back several years to enjoy the drink they received after completing one of their third grade soccer matches.
For me, my choice for favorite lemonade stand was a no-brainer. I thought the group that accepted credit and debit cards blew away the competition. My second favorite idea was the stand that allowed customers to take their own bottled water and lemonade packet and mix it themselves. Of course the ultimate combination would be a cross between the best of the best from the first day of lemonade stands and the second day. The group that sold TEAL lemonade would team up with the group that accepted cards to form a stand on Prince Lawn that would generate a line stretching miles. Needless to say, I would pull out my debit card and buy a cup. Don’t Blink.