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Marketing students ‘live beautifully’ with Italtile
25 July 2018
Italtile provided the Strategic Marketing Management honours students with a practical marketing challenge that served as their exam project. Students had to develop a promotional strategy for Italtile with the goal of increasing the footfall in showrooms in general, but specifically to increase tile sales. As part of the project, students also had to review Italtile’s current and past marketing strategies, conduct a competitor analysis, and profile Italtile’s target market.
Italtile introduced students to its ‘Italtile way’ and ‘Live Beautifully’ brands with a pizza evening on Wednesday, 11 April 2018. To further give students first-hand insight into the Italtile brand, students had the opportunity to visit some of Italtile’s factories in Boksburg and Vereeniging. This exciting road trip took place on Saturday, 21 April 2018, when 60 students were escorted by their lecturers as well as representatives of Italtile, Nicole Russell and Chris Letsholo. The visit included a behind-the-scenes look at one of the tap and accessories factories in Boksburg, as well as the state-of-the-art Gryphon tile factory in Vereeniging, where students could experience the lengthy process of manufacturing tiles first-hand. Students were also treated to lunch, while experts were at hand to answer all their questions.
      Students getting ‘inspiration’ at the ITD tap and accessories factory in Boksburg. From left to right: Lesego Selepe,Valerie Mbulo and Mpho Mabuza
Students inside the Grypon tile factory in Vereeniging
Honours students at one of Italtile’s factories
On Thursday, 14 June 2018, student teams had the opportunity to present their campaigns to the exam panel. Some of the themes students created and shared with the Italtile panel included: ‘Tap into style with Italtile’, ‘A piece of Italy’, ‘Join the luxury lifestyle’, ‘Invest in the house you have, to create the home you want’, and ‘Save for the long run – live beautiful now’.  Some of the students’ ideas included competitions, mobile phone apps, brand ambassadors, virtual reality applications, creative advertisements in various media, and art installations, as well as corporate social responsibility projects related to saving water – one tap at a time!
Front row: The exam panel: Nicole Russell (Marketing Manager of Italtile), Hayden Hochfelden (Creative Director of Italtile) and Paul Couzis (Director of Italtile), as well as lecturer Prof Melanie Wiese
Back row: Some of the student teams that presented their ideas to the panel as part of the exam. From left to right: Bandile Kunene, Anele Madikizela, Jeanie Horn, Biopelo Morwane, Lihle Yotwana, Monet van Eeden, Keorapetse Moloabi, Lynn Kareithi and Moné Bothma
Sergio Galli, Italitle Retail Director who attended some of the sessions, commented: “Many thanks from my side for a very insightful day with such enthusiasm from the students.” Nicole Russell, Marketing Manager, expressed her appreciation for all the effort and dedication from UP’s Department of Marketing Management, especially the students, and remarked: “We were overwhelmed by the effort the groups put into each project.”
Not only did Italtile give students the opportunity to work with a prestigious brand, they also awarded prizes for the top three teams and are considering the idea of keeping the students involved in managing the various projects based on their ideas and suggestions.
The winning team, each member receiving R1 000 and a trophy from Italtile.
From left to right: Prof Melanie Wiese (lecturer), Monet van Eeden, Lynn Kareithi, Keorapetse Moloabi (absent) and Nicole Russel (Italtile Marketing Manager)
Second prize winners Anastasia Carnelley-Bruyns, Shannon Collins and Bob Chidawaya each received R750, while Bianca Pienaar, Phillip Muller and Edele O’Neill was awarded R500 each for their ‘Tap into style with Italtile’ presentation, which came third. However, no one went home empty handed as each student received a power bank from Italtile as a token of their appreciation for the high quality presentations.
Thank you Italtile for allowing our students to work on your prestigious brand and for creating an opportunity for them to understand what ‘live beautifully’ mean! You have shaped their way of thinking the ‘Italtile way’.
- Author Department of Marketing Management
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Last edited by Liesl OosthuizenEdit
Honours students at one of Italtile’s factories