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Stratford BID

Student research

The brief

Stratford Original Business Improvement District identified a large student population living in the BID area and, although they were a potentially impactful source of revenue for local businesses, local firms reported that students currently spend little time or money in the area.

Stratford BID wanted to look into how they could best support students living in this area, and boost the economy in the original town centre in the process.

Our research explored the nature of the student population living in Stratford and the factors leading them to spend little time in the area – and aimed to provide actionable insights.

The approach

Shift used a three-phase approach:

  1. Desk research to understand the student population and accommodation in the local area.
  2. Walking group interviews with 21 students around the Stratford BID area. These interviews were conducted on the move in order to gather insight on how students perceive and engage with the local area, while identifying issues and impressions. 
  3. Online interviews with 10 students from the walking group phase. These interviews aimed to understand where students like to spend their time and what draws them elsewhere – as well as providing an opportunity for them to reflect on the walking interviews.

The value

Shift provided Stratford BID with a strong understanding of the student population in the local area. Our insights highlighted opportunity areas for Stratford Original and local businesses to encourage students to spend more time and money in the area.

Once the report was delivered, Shift ran an ideation workshop with Stratford Original and local businesses to help prioritise actionable outcomes. This helped local businesses come together to discuss key themes and brainstorm ideas to help successfully engage students within their community.