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Strathclyde Business School

Practical learning: staying on brand

By Amy Sills - Posted on 17 April 2024

A marketing class recently took part in a brand management exercise with an industry partner. Amy Sills, whose plan was judged best in class, says this practical learning was a great experience.

In my Honours Brand Management class we were tasked with crafting a brand plan for Birra Menabrea, an Italian lager brand, for the upcoming financial year. The brief was clear: to elevate Menabrea’s awareness amongst consumers within the crowded premium world lager market.

Our challenge was to create a PowerPoint presentation that emulated a real-world brand pitch, giving us the opportunity to apply the plethora of brand marketing concepts, frameworks and theories we’ve learned throughout our weekly lectures to a real-world organisation.

At the beginning of the process, the C&C Group attended one of our classes and shared the authentic backstory of the brand, its DNA and positioning, external market trends, previous marcomms strategies and how it is currently performing within the UK premium lager market. They highlighted their recently substantial investment in their new ‘Alpine Birra’ campaign, aimed at enhancing their premium credentials and differentiating themselves as the Italian Alpine Birra from strong Italian competitors like Peroni and Birra Moretti.

Throughout my research, both within our class materials and beyond, I discovered that consumers loved the taste of the liquid, thus growing awareness in the on and off-trade channels would be my primary focus, leveraging the brand’s newfound Alpine positioning to solidify its presence in the market.

This assignment provided a fantastic opportunity to practically apply the theoretical content taught in class to a real-world brand, enhancing my understanding of brand management concepts and their application in the role of a brand manager that I will hopefully be working as in the future. Additionally, I was able to build upon my presenting skills as, due to COVID, my in-person presenting experiences were limited. Therefore, presenting my ideas in a boardroom at the iconic Wellpark Brewery to industry professionals was an invaluable experience and a major confidence boost! I received constructive feedback which I can take into my future career.

Overall, the brand management module was an excellent way to round up my learning within the business school as it bridged the gap between knowing the concepts we had studied for the past four years and understanding how to use them effectively. For example, I was able to apply core marketing principles such as the marketing mix, competitor and PESTEL analysis which I had studied since first year, with more complex concepts such as the 4Cs, brand diagnosis and building brand equity that were introduced later on in my degree. I really enjoyed having the freedom to select and apply concepts I felt would be most relevant to solving particular problems for Menabrea and being able to leverage my creativity when coming up with strategies.

I am extremely grateful for this opportunity and the skills it has equipped me with as I prepare to leave Strathclyde. I believe it is a fantastic example of how a class assignment can be turned into an invaluable and practical learning opportunity, particularly in terms of career preparation.

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