Every year at Darden there is an event called Brand Challenge sponsored by the Marketing Club and a few selected corporate sponsors. Basically, each team of students gets a brand/product assigned to them and they have to perform a market research project by setting up a booth during the Brand Challenge event and presenting their assigned product while surveying the visitors on the different features of their product, according to their research objectives. At the end of the event, awards are given to the Best Booth Design, Best Survey Design, Most Spirited Team, and Best Overall Team.
For me, as a passive participant, it’s a great opportunity to try new products in an interesting and fun setting and also a chance to win cool prizes such as a Kindle and gift cards to eat at Cville’s hottest spots. You eat, you drink (blueberry beer, don’t knock it till you try it!), you play, you get your picture taken with the Hamburger Helper or other beloved brand character and, heck, you have fun.
But for the participant teams, it goes well beyond this. They have to come up with creative ways to present their products, engage with the corporate sponsors in order to get adequate product samples and establish meaningful objectives for their research, and present the results to the participating companies. A lot of work, isn’t it?
Further, for the corporate sponsors it's a great way to get information on their products in this diverse microcosm that is Darden. And also it’s a good way to get to know our talented aspiring marketers before the recruiting season.
Darden has a way of promoting hands-on learning while making an event that the whole community can enjoy.