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UEA business students test their marketing mettle

Fri, 16 Mar 2012

Business students from the University of East Anglia will get a taste of marketing in the real world when they pitch their branding proposals to Norfolk businesses on Monday.

Teams of students on the MSc Brand Leadership course have been putting theory into practice by working with clients including the English Whisky Company, the Student Union, and InCrops - a bio-renewables hub based at the Norwich Research Park.

They have been charged with creating a new branding strategy for their clients - from designing logos and labels to creating websites and coming up with advertising campaigns.

And after two months of hard work, they will pitch their proposals on Monday.

The project involved background research on each company, meeting with the clients, and defining their business goals. The 16 students also researched market trends and what consumers want.

The English Whisky Company tasked the students with creating a brand which will sell in America - one of the world's largest markets for whisky.

Andrew Nelstrop, managing director of the English Whisky Company, said: "Our distillery in Roudham was founded in 2006 and has gone from strength to strength. Our brief asked the students to create a brand identity to launch the company in America. We're looking for something that reflects our product, which is an upmarket, boutique, exclusive whisky."

The UEA Students' Union represents students on a large and diverse set of issues, provides professional advice on academic and housing issues, and runs shops, bars and two entertainment venues. It asked the students to build on the Union's existing brand.

Student Simona Matuskova, who worked with the Union, said: "We met with our client regularly, listened to what they wanted, and carried out customer research to come up with a branding proposal for them. It has been a really interesting project to work on."

Anika Mathur, who worked on a campaign for InCrops, said: "I have really enjoyed the challenge, and it has given me fantastic experience in working with a client on a real project. It was also a great opportunity to work as part of a team and combine our individual strengths.

"I hope InCrops will be impressed with our ideas for a branding campaign," she added.

InCrops is a technology transfer company based at UEA which offers a range of services to businesses in biorenewables sectors - spanning biomass heat and power, biofuels, the green built environment, functional food, sustainable design and sustainable agricultural practices.

The company was set up in 2008 with an 'Investing in Your' grant from the European Union, which allows it to offer free business support to companies in the East of England.

Since its inception, InCrops has developed rapidly and has increased its range of activities and services. The company now hopes to make the transition from publically-funded project to permanent self-sustained business. The brief for MSc students was to develop a new brand identity for InCrops which would support these developments.

The students will pitch their ideas on Monday, March 19.