University of Bath School of Management University of Bath School of Management

School of Management students advise future brand stars

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Building on the success of previous student-industry partnerships, recent MSc students got to work on two future brand stars as part of their Strategic Brand Management module.

School of Management students advise future brand stars

The first brand, 14 Bike Co, required help with a clear communication plan to inform their strategy to become a global leader in the production of customised fixed gear bicycles. Hailing from Shoreditch, London, the brand has built an enviable reputation in a short time among hardcore fans of street cycling and bike polo as well as attracting interest from brand partners such as Dunhill, Samsung, and Wallpaper magazine.

One of the founding partners of the company, John Wainright, briefed the MSc class on the brand’s history, aspirations, operations and challenges. Following several weeks of research, teams of students presented their response to this brief under tough conditions (10 minute presentations).

The team judged the best (by John and course leader Professor Michael Beverland) were Alexandra Baldwin, Anna MacAdam, Emma McKechnie, Heledd Brooks-Jones, and Lucy Paton. Both judges were impressed at the team’s ability to understand the attraction to a wider lifestyle segment of the original fixed gear culture and the creative plan to drive the brand forward. Drawing directly on the team’s research, John and the 14Bike Co team have already developed a new webpage focused on the “My 14” concept that identifies riders and the story behind their personal bike designs as part of a global brand re-launch plan.

School of Management students advise future brand stars

The second brand students worked on was developed by Bath Executive MBA student Tim Chater (pictured with both teams). Brand Koji is a naturally brewed soft drink (low calories and no additives) following Sake techniques from Japan. Recently launched, the brand is built around the purity and mystery associated with Japan, and appeals to busy on the go consumers who want to have it all (a soft drink without the calories).

Out of 13 teams, two teams were judged the best. The first of David Cross, Michael Duncan, Tegan Allen, Rachael Edwards, and Robert Craig captured the target consumer’s “can have it all” lifestyle and provided research-driven insights into the brand’s position. The second team: Mak Drenski, Vladimir Kotselov, Maria Eleni Pouli, Maria Lioumi, and Qian Liu, captured the positioning of the brand and brought that to life with some creative concepts.

The involvement of real life cases is a feature of both the Strategic Brand Management course and the MSc in Marketing at the University of Bath. In both cases, students get a chance to work on real live brands and gain feedback from experienced professionals, under industry conditions. Both John and Tim commented they felt “inspired” by the day and have gained lots of new insights into their brands and customer base that will guide their strategies for years to come.

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General Notes For Editors:

The School of Management is one of the UK's leading business schools. Currently ranked 1st for Student Experience (Times Higher Education 2015) and 1st for Business Studies (The Times & Sunday Times University Guide 2016), we are a leading centre for management research - placed 8th in the UK in the latest REF2014.

We are one of a select number of international business schools accredited by EQUIS, the European Foundation for Management Development's quality inspectorate and the Bath MBA has been accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA) since 1976.

The centrality of research to teaching is an essential feature of all our programmes. The School offers a full range of programmes from undergraduate to postgraduate up to PhD level and post-experience programmes including the world-ranked Bath MBA. The School also provides tailored executive development programmes for middle and senior management.

The School of Management has a faculty of over 100 teaching and research staff, including visiting academics, with a professional support team of around 90 managerial and administrative staff. Research income averages £2 million per annum. There are approximately 2,400 students in total comprising some 150 MBA students, over 500 Master’s students, 250 full- and part-time research students, and over 1500 undergraduates following BSc degrees.