Students leave their mark on the future of University of Kent Merchandise

As part of the University of Kent’s 50th anniversary celebrations next year, the Kent Business School was awarded funding to launch a project aimed at engaging University of Kent students with the 50th anniversary celebrations – we have called it “The University of Kent 50th Anniversary Pitch It Challenge”.

This competition is a dragon’s den style challenge inviting all University of Kent students to submit their ideas on how they think University of Kent merchandise can be made more appealing to students, alumni and other stakeholder groups who may have an affiliation with the University ahead of this landmark year.

“It was an extraordinary experience […] and an honour to leave our footprint in the future of University of Kent Merchandise”

Javier Eguidazu,
International Business undergraduate student,
Team Posterus, Competition Winner.

The teams with the best entries were invited to pitch back their practical and innovative ideas on 9th April 2014 to a panel of University marketing experts and representatives. The presentations were judged on the accurate interpretation of the challenge brief, the quality, depth and breadth of the research and analysis, the practicality and innovativeness of the recommendations, and the creative use of visual artwork.

“All shortlisted teams should be proud of what was presented and accomplished today. We had very good teams who delivered some very interesting presentations based on rigorous marketing research. The new insights have the potential to support the development of the existing merchandise range.”

Veronica Wong, Professor of Marketing, Kent Business School, University of Kent

The concepts presented proved instructive and formed the basis for some very sellable ideas. Beyond the diversification considerations to the existing product range of mugs, hoodies, phone cases, mascots etc., the teams also reflected on the psyche of the consumer to evaluate the emotional association with the brand and how this translates into purchasing behaviours.

As our panel expert Professor Veronica Wong observed, “Marketing is not simply about the marketing channels but is very much about getting to the heart, soul and minds of consumers.  It is important to understand how to engage and associate the consumer with the message.”

pitch-it-2By entering the competition, the winning and runner-up teams were in with a chance to win prizes to the value of £1,000.00, 50 employability points towards the University of Kent’s Employability Points Scheme, and an invitation to attend a commissioned workshop with the University of Kent’s merchandise supplier to learn from industry experts and discuss their ideas.

“The challenge was an extraordinary experience. To have the opportunity to shape the future of the University’s merchandise was both fun and exciting. I really felt like I was putting into practice what I have been learning as a business student.”

Manuel Crepin, International Business Year 1 Undergraduate,
Team Posterus, Competition Winner.

The winning and runner-up teams have gone on to be offered summer internships with the University’s merchandise supplier and will gain valuable work experience in the process.

Later in the year, these creative ideas will be developed and brought to life in a follow-on student competition to design a 50th Anniversary limited edition collectable.

For more details about the University of Kent’s 50th Anniversary Pitch It! challenge, please contact a member of the Business Team at Kent Business School on or 01227824068


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