Students from the University of Lincoln, U.K., have penned papers on marketing strategies in an essay-writing competition set by one of the world's best-known brands.
Carlsberg's Senior Vice President for Asia and Africa, Chris Warmoth, presented them with the challenge as part of their degree studies.
The essay competition invited students in the second year of the BA (Hons) Business and Marketing programme in Lincoln Business School to answer a question on what the future demands of beer consumers will be in a country of their choice, and how branding and marketing would influence future buying habits.
As well as receiving marks which contribute towards their degree, students had the chance to win prizes of £300 and £200 for the winner and runner up respectively.
The essay competition builds on an internship opportunity previously launched by Carlsberg for University of Lincoln students.
"Carlsberg has a close link to education and research through a Foundation supported by the original founder and his son which still owns 30 per cent of Carlsberg," said Chris, who previously worked at P&G, Coca Cola, Heinz, and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the University.
"We are always looking for opportunities to support education as a company, which was very much behind our offering an internship and the essay competition.
"We have just announced a new strategy in Carlsberg and a drive towards craft beer is part of that. Most of the shortlisted essays focused on craft beer. Like many things in life, viewpoints and mind-sets are shaped in many different ways, and I'm sure that after carefully reading the five essays, my own ideas and thoughts have been influenced."
Five essays were shortlisted from around 150 students, and assessed on both their academic and corporate business merits. The students were rated across three main criteria; how thoroughly they directly answered the question; merging academic citations and references with clear and understandable answers which would be understood in a corporate environment; and having coherent and clear points of view.
First prize winner Kiril Petrov (20), from Sofia in Bulgaria, considered the evolution of the craft beer market in the US, saying that marketing should focus on consumers who affiliate with local authenticity, and the expansion of brewpub establishments which directly serve craft beer. His essay earned him a first class mark for his degree course, and the top prize of £300 from Carlsberg.
"I chose this topic because I had a very memorable literature teacher in high school, an American man in his thirties who completely despised certain drinks," said Kiril.
"I suspect that what he craved was the feeling of authenticity and identity craft beers provide, which was undoubtedly the most prominent element of my essay.
"Such critical thinking is definitely helpful to people wishing to work within the marketing department of any business. Conducting market analysis and market segmentation and understanding, as well as influencing consumer behaviour are essential skills that every marketer should strive to have. I did not expect my essay to win first prize, and I was very pleasantly surprised."
Professor Martin Hingley, from the Lincoln Business School, said: "The competition aimed to give students a chance to experience real-world marketing and strategy planning from the perspective of a global brand. Our relationships with big businesses such as Carlsberg offer our students the opportunity to apply their academic training to a corporate setting, further preparing them for the working world once they graduate."
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