RMIT Bachelor of Business (Marketing) students have presented global expansion plans in front of real life client CONG Café this month.
Tasked with launching the well-known and much-loved Vietnamese hipster café brand CONG Café into the Japanese and Korean markets, students received immediate feedback from brand representative Mr Daniel Nguyen. He saw their presentations on market strategy and segmentation, competitive difference, location, pricing and other specific launch tactics.
“A lot of these teams blew my mind,” Mr Nguyen said.
“The details I got from them went way above my expectation of university students, especially in terms of their market research, the level of information they produced and the recommendations they put out. I’m very impressed.”
The students presented in a Lion’s Den format where a panel of judges, including Mr Nguyen, were able to grill group members on their individual strategies. Mr Nguyen stressed the importance to students of being prepared to tackle not just the positives, but the challenges any brand can face in a real life marketing problem.
“In a real world situation, where people are paying you money for your time, brands want to hear the problems and how they can overcome them,” Mr Nguyen shared.
“Based on today, these students are already well on their way.”
One of those students, To Huynh Minh Hien, said the experience was exciting to be part of, having helped set up the opportunity to present to CONG Café. Her group’s strategy focused on segmenting the brand’s potential new audience by unique lifestyle orientation, rather than traditional socio-demographics.
“It’s not just about a person’s job,” Hien said, “service is about needs, and we think the brand targets a specific type of person, so that’s why we came up with groups like ‘Vietnamese culture seekers’ and a location like Kawasaki, a centre of Japanese hipsterism.”
Answering Mr Nguyen’s questions, Hien believed it was the research skills gained throughout the course that had held her in good stead. Applauding the Vietnamese company’s ambition to expand into new markets, she said she was looking forward to doing the same by going on exchange to RMIT Melbourne in Australia and hopefully pursuing a Master’s degree from there.
Commenting on the activity, Global Marketing course lecturer Ms Phung Thanh Phuong, who has been with the University for ten years, said the project aligned with RMIT’s ongoing objective to give students as many impactful work integrated learning experiences as possible.
She also said CONG Café was part of the “RMIT family,” brands that love coming back to the University and being part of the curriculum. Aside from working with students during this Global Marketing course, the company already employs one RMIT Vietnam alumnus in its Hanoi office.
“When students here are a part of this type of project, they really appreciate it, and so once they go out into the real world, they relish the chance to come back or use their professional network to pass on the learning opportunity to future RMIT graduates.”
Story: Jon Aspin