An Interesting First Day
Today was the first day of the marketing immersion program. Walking into the conference room of the Hilton Garden in Carmel, we were greeted by several products, ranging from a Ketchup bottle to Crest toothpaste, stacked neatly together on the front table. Mr. Roland Morin then preceded to hand students their very own product, which we would relate to throughout the morning.
Mr. Morin proceeded to explain the basic fundamentals of marketing, what is and how to perform a S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis on a company or product, and the “Four P’s” of marketing (Product, Place, Promotion, Price). The foundation of marketing seems to be research, and as Mr. Morin explained just how much companies are willing to spend to know their customers and design their product, I couldn’t help looking at my Ketchup bottle, and seeing how many hundreds of thousands of dollars was place in developing this single product that might have cost around $3 dollars to purchase.
After learning the basics, we then dived into a Harvard Business School case study of STARBUCKS and how they marketed their product to become the number one coffee provider in the world with billions in revenue, and millions in profits. After reading the case study, we then preceded on our first “field trip.” Twenty minutes after examining in-depth what makes Starbucks so popular, and what type of individual purchases Starbucks, we found ourselves inside what could be considered the “anti-Starbucks” coffee shop of Broad Ripple. The Monon coffee shop was a little mom/pop store, which was the complete opposite of the corporate image Starbucks conveys. With lower prices, and a relaxed atmosphere, which consisted of couches, and little jazz music playing lightly in the background, many of the customers seemed relaxed as they read, or typed busily away on their laptops. Mr. Morin was nice enough to purchase all of us a drink (of coffee of course!) so that we could compare the difference in taste between Monon, and the mighty Starbucks which most of us were accustomed too.
The examination of the marketing strategy of a major corporation followed by a field trip to one of it’s smaller competitors to see firsthand how they “sell” themselves was helpful in connecting the bookwork to the real world. It is not often were one morning you examine the issues in class, and then in the afternoon experience first hand the real world applications of what you have just learned.
Picture: The students in the 2007 Marketing Immersion Program.