Undergraduate students have designed innovative marketing solutions for Think Again Sustainable Solutions who produce and market the "Rolla Bottle" re-usable water bottle.
The experience was part of a work integrated learning (WIL) project in the B2B Marketing course.
The students were required to develop a marketing plan using an allocated budget of $20,000. The plan needed to address the client’s marketing challenge which was to build a B2B sales and marketing strategy which will drive high volume sales revenue in the immediate and short-to- medium term.
Students could choose a B2B customer to target - either from the commercial sector (such as retailers or distributors), the government sector (such as the military or education department) or the institutional sector (such as universities, the AFL or other not-for- profits).
Sessional Lecturer Andrea Georgiou met Katy Reed, co-founder of Think Again Sustainable Solutions, at a business networking event and was inspired by her desire to help clean up waterways and protect the environment.
“The ‘Rolla Bottle’ is a re-usable water bottle that rolls up to a sixth of its size when empty,” she said.
“Using these bottles means that we can all limit the environmental damage created by single use (disposable) water bottles, which end up in landfills and pollute our waterways.”
Georgiou saw this as a perfect case study for her marketing students; a fun useful product and a relatively new business which could benefit from a fresh approach.
“By participating in this type of project the students get experience in a real-world situation.
“Not only do they work towards solving the marketing challenge at hand, they also learn how to collaborate and communicate – the ‘soft skills’ needed for all work situations.
“By working as a group the students learn how to bring strength to their team as well as how to make individual contributions.”
Reed thanked the students for the great effort they put in to the project.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the students and Andrea throughout this whole process,” she said.
“We have gained some invaluable insights into the market and lots of strategic tactical implementation ideas that we will be able to use in our business planning both now and in the coming years.
“I would highly recommend RMIT’s WIL program to any organisation in any stage of their business maturity cycle.”
Georgiou says that gaining exposure to B2B marketing opens up avenues and opportunities to students who may have otherwise only considered careers in consumer marketing.
“By providing B2B solutions (rather than B2C) the student looks beyond the ‘transactional’ process to understand how long-term business relationships and value driven solutions create sustainable and competitive outcomes for businesses,” she said.
“The students gain hands on practical experience which they can include on their resumes or start applying in their current workplace.”
Student Eden Fernandes said that completing an assignment for a genuine company made the work so much more interesting and engaging.
“Every task we completed, decisions we made and recommendations we gave to the client were the real deal,” she said.
“They really listened to us and took our advice on board. It felt like we were actual marketing professionals.
“Mostly it didn't feel like an assignment at all; just an opportunity to experience what it's like in the real world of business.”
Story: Ainslie Logsdon