Students get hands-on 03 July 2017

Associate Professor Frank Alpert (centre), with students who participated in the brand audit. 

Postgraduate marketing students at The University of Queensland Business School recently had the opportunity to conduct brand audits for real companies and present the findings to them.

The students evaluated and measured the brand equity of two edutech start-ups, Pluss and Successful Graduate, from a consumer perspective and then presented their findings to both companies.

Nathalia Pena Baez who worked on the brand audit for Pluss, said doing a project that gave her practical industry experience helped prepare her for life after university.

“Throughout the project we had the opportunity to work as professionals with our client,” she said.

“Understanding their main concerns and objectives permitted us to develop strategies that could possibly lead the brand to the optimal positioning for its current and potential consumers.

“These types of projects with industry partners that are offered in Masters courses are very valuable experiences that will differentiate UQ students from others.

“This brand audit was a hands-on experience that improved our marketing skills and challenged us to work on real-life situations.”

Sarah Latham who also worked with Nathalia on the brand audit for Pluss said that knowing their findings could be implemented to create a lasting strategy for a real company was exciting.

“By identifying important issues we were able to present recommendations and improvements to Pluss, which if implemented will hopefully see continued improvement in their brand,” she said.

Pluss Co-Founder Dylan Verrier said that the project was not only beneficial for the students’ professional development, but also for the brands being audited.

“Their presentation was confirmation from an outside perspective on the direction we wanted to move in. It re-confirmed what we were thinking and was perfect timing,” he said.

According to course coordinator Associate Professor Frank Alpert, it is practical experiences like this that give students the skills to excel in an industry setting.

“This project was an attempt to move from studying real brands, to working with real brands,” he said.

“The students were able to directly interact with the companies, gaining insights into what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing strategy.”

Associate Professor Alpert says that not only is this kind of experience important for students, but that interacting with real companies is also appealing to them.

“Students really like it when industry engages directly with them, including questioning the students, even tough questions, and listening to their response,” he said.

Associate Professor Alpert has a passion for keeping students engaged in his courses. In fact, it is something that he has dedicated a lot of time researching.

Read more about Associate Professor Alpert’s research into revitalising university lectures.

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