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Strategising with Firestone
6 September 2017
On 3 August 2017, the third-year BCom Marketing Management students presented their second deliverable of the practical project module to the client, Bridgestone/Firestone. The purpose of the second deliverable was firstly, to take the insights gained from the research in the first deliverable and indicate how Firestone as a brand is positioned in the minds of tyre consumers. Secondly, students had to develop brief brand communication plans in reaching these tyre consumers. The students had the privilege of sharing their thoughts and creative ideas with a panel of judges, consisting of their lecturer and representatives from Bridgestone.  
 
The assessment panel members representing Bridgestone for the second deliverable, are from left to right : Ms Kelly Fester (Public Relations Officer), Mrs Mickey von Maltitz (General Manager of Human Resource Development), Mr Patrick John Leslie (General Manager of Marketing – Consumer) and Dr Gerhard Heyns (General Manager – Inland North)
 
Each of the teams’ presentations consisted of a short recap of the four segments identified as part of deliverable one (based on the research conducted). This was followed by an explanation of Firestone’s current brand positioning and how each one of the four segments currently perceive Firestone as a brand, relative to competitors. The teams concluded with brief brand communication plans as to how they intend to reach each one of the four segments identified, to either reposition Firestone’s brand or to strengthen its current brand position.
 
One of the teams, ‘Pentos’, was very creative in making their presentation come to life. Each team member took on the persona of a specific segment and then creatively described their persona (i.e. what they like, what they don’t like, how to communicate with them, etc) and their perceptions of the Firestone brand. The panel commented that it was one of the most impressive presentations of the day.
 
Another team, ‘Ride with us’, drew an insightful comparison between the perception that the Firestone brand had communicated through its marketing efforts and the perception that each specific segment had of the Firestone brand. ‘Ride with us’ was also the only group to remember that 3 August, the date of the presentations, was Firestone’s 116th birthday and gave the representatives of Bridgestone a bouquet of balloons. This team were the winners of the first deliverable, and enjoyed a 4x4 driving experience as prize. Below is a picture of the ‘Ride with us’ team at their 4x4 driving experience.
 
From left to right: (top) Mr Lethabo Thosago, Mr Marius Fischer, Mr Martin Nieuwenhuizen; (middle) Mr Denzel Hill, Ms Nina Jordaan, and Ms Lesego Diutlwileng gracing the bottom
 
The Bridgestone panel provided the students with detailed feedback after each presentation, and shared some of their insights on implementing the proposed ideas. The panel also remarked that most of the suggested strategies were creative and could be implemented in the future. Throughout this deliverable, the students got to engage with the brand on a more creative side and furthermore developed their strategic thinking abilities, which will come in very handy in completing the final deliverable of the project.   
 
The Department of Marketing Management wishes all of the students the best of luck with their final deliverable and examination presentations, scheduled for Monday, 4 September 2017!
- Author Department of Marketing Management
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Last edited by Liesl OosthuizenEdit
The assessment panel members representing Bridgestone