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Students let their creativity (and their market research) shine at the Annual Kellogg Marketing Competition on Nov. 16.

Build, promote and sell

Build, promote and sell

Student teams build marketing campaigns for 14 new consumer products and compete for top honors in Annual Kellogg Marketing Competition

By Daniel P. Smith

11/21/2012 - Alongside carnival characters and cheering M&Ms, hundreds of Kellogg students, faculty and friends flooded the Donald P. Jacobs Center on Friday, Nov. 16 for the culmination of the Annual Kellogg Marketing Competition. The competition featured 14 student-created marketing plans for consumer products from leading brands such as Hershey’s, Ziploc, Dove, Quaker and Palmolive.

In the final stage of the competition, students transformed the atrium into a festive open market (known as Mega-Mart) to find out whose campaign would drive the most sales.

A start-to-finish marketing campaign
More than three-dozen teams applied for entry into the AKMC, each pitching a product of their choice to impress judges representing the AKMC and the Kellogg Marketing Club. Once earning a spot in the final 14, each team was randomly assigned a new-to-market or yet-to-be-launched consumer product and challenged to: 

  • Build a marketing plan that addressed segmentation, targeting and positioning. Each team then presented that plan to brand managers at their product’s sponsoring company.
  • Promote the product within Kellogg. Teams had to bid on resources such as banner placement and booth location at the Mega-Mart event. 
  • Sell the product at Mega-Mart, a task that charged students to address issues such as pricing and product presentation.

“For many of the students participating, this is their first time marketing a product, so this event provides some great real-life stimulation to consider how to build a campaign and position a product for the marketplace,” said Mega-Mart organizer Stefan Miller ’13, who marketed the Snickers Marathon energy bar as a participant in last year’s AKMC.

Winning and learning
All teams were judged on four criteria: their presentation to brand managers; marketing and promotional work; Mega-Mart booth presentation; and profit at the Mega-Mart event.

The team of Katherine Riddell ’14, Laura Zwiener ’14, Emily Hanan ’14, Alan Donner ’14 and Elizabeth Baumann ’14 captured the AKMC title with a delectable marketing plan for M&M’s Brand Snack Mix, a product launched in May.

The team’s marketing pitch embraced the fun and quirky vibe inherent in the M&M brand. During lunchtime guerilla marketing, for instance, the team dressed up in M&M costumes and distributed trial-size packages of the snack mix around the Jacobs Center atrium and dining area.

Riddell called the AKMC experience a rich learning opportunity, especially since her teammates represented backgrounds as diverse as retail, finance and consulting.

“We all brought different experiences and strengths to the group, which allowed us to look at our challenge from different angles and come up with the most effective decisions,” Riddell said.