Student Research Offers Insight on Some of World’s Best-Known Brands
October 31, 2011
|Students presented their research findings to marketing executives this month in New York City. The trip also included a reception (above), where they and finance students met with high-level executives and alumni in the offices of UBS to learn about the transition from classroom to office.|
The Walt Disney Co. gets superior marks for its volunteer programs and works promoting “green” practices and healthy lifestyle choices for children. That’s according to new research conducted this semester by undergraduate and MBA students from the School of Business. Their marketing research on more than 100 U.S. companies focused on consumer perceptions of how U.S. brands’ market performance compares to its corporate citizenship. Students analyzed how high-profile brands such as Apple, Facebook, Starbucks and Walt Disney Co. are creating a meaningful impact on consumers’ lives, and highlighted areas that need improvement. In addition to their finding about Walt Disney, they found that PepsiCo Inc. does a good job saving fuel and reducing emissions at company plants, and they gave Johnson & Johnson credit for its water-recycling program in India. They also found room for improvement among other top brands, such as Starbucks, which they felt could improve its recycling program.
Their research findings were presented to brand consulting agency Landor Associates, in conjunction with sister companies Burson-Marsteller and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB), this month in New York. The project, which was initiated by Hayes Roth (AB ’72), Landor’s chief marketing officer, is modeled after Landor’s Breakaway Brands study which analyzes companies that have revolutionized business.
The study was based on 12 key points, including how the company positively impacts the everyday lives of its customers, its ethical leadership, its dedication to making communities a better place, and its genuine interest in making a difference in the world.
|Alfred Marsicano (BBA ’76, left) with School of Business Dean Gene Anderson
“It’s great to see undergraduates and MBAs working together toward one goal,” said Mary Young, director of the School’s Ziff Graduate Career Services Center, who helped spearhead the project. “This kind of experiential learning and civic engagement research is part of the curriculum Dean Anderson is promoting at the School.”
While in New York, students also visited marketing firms Arnold and Buzz Back, and attended an alumni UBS networking event. The event has been hosted for the past four years by School of Business alumnus and Senior Vice President of Investments for UBS Alfred Marsicano (BBA ’76).
“Overall, the experience for the students was remarkable,” said Michael Tsiros, chair of the School’s marketing department, who worked with students on the project and accompanied them on their trip along with Claudia Townsend, assistant professor of marketing.