Buzz Marketing

By Megan Pouliot, Editorial Assistant

Secrets don’t make friends.

Unless of course you’re talking about Three Sixty Ecotique— the best kept secret in all of Chico—which in that case would make us BFFs.

A little late to catch on to this secret, my first visit to Three Sixty Ecotique occurred last Thursday and let me just tell you, I thought I had died and gone to vintage heaven.

From the moment I walked in, my eyes were jumping from rack to rack. Dresses. Blouses. Crop Tops. Coats. Belts. Bags. You name it, I wanted it.

Of course before I got too excited and began stripping the racks, I knew it was time for that pesky price check—the usual deal breaker. I figured I would start with this gorgeous, black, sequined cropped coat, one similar to those I’ve seen at other vintage stores, which usually ran close to about $50—a price steeper than my college budget can climb. As I lifted it from the rack, I anxiously peeked inside to check the price as if I were sneaking into an early Christmas present.

Written on the dainty, recycled price tag was an equally dainty price of $28; a price I cannot only climb, but I can sprint to the top.

In less than 20 minutes, I had filled almost two dressing rooms, leaving the racks almost as empty as my wallet upon leaving the store.

From the time it took me to drive from the downtown boutique to my house, I had already tweeted a storm, added the location to my Foursquare and told all of my closest friends—and everyone else I came in contact with for the next four days.

Since my shopping spree at the eco-friendly boutique, I know of at least three pals that have frequented the shop. This trend seems to come to life in small towns like Chico, where businesses rely on word-of-mouth by college students. This kind of buzz, which is the result of the human need to spread the latest gossip, markets companies without any allotted advertising funds.

I left Ecotique that day with a hefty brown sack, which I’m sure was made from recycled paper, and a newfound knowledge in the impact of buzz marketing. Secrets may not make friends, but friends sure make secrets.

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