Something Dif-fur-ent for the Marketing honours students

Posted on September 20, 2022


The BCom Honours (Marketing Management) Class of 2022 were posed with a unique client challenge to start off their first semester. As part of the apprentice-style approach adopted for the honours degree, students are presented with actual challenges faced by industry partners, and are required to present a solution to the client by applying their knowledge of a particular theme. From dogs and cats to horses and birds…there was something that appealed to everyone in the Eco-Vet challenge.

Eco-Vet is a local organisation that manufactures and sells a range of homeopathic medicine and nutritional supplements specifically developed to treat animals (mainly companion animals) with effective, safe and reasonably priced medicine. Originally established by Dr Alex Niven (a veterinarian and qualified homeopath), Eco-Vet was purchased by Natura in 2020, making affordable, effective medicine even more accessible for pet owners, vets and breeders alike.

Spirit Animals 
From left: Kiara Louw, Tayo Croza, Sabrina de Aguiar, Mvelo Nkosi (team leader) and Kudzai Nachito

Animal Kingdom 
From left: Jade Thompson, Mieke Pienaar, Martyn Austin, Serina Smit and Sabrina Dias

On Wednesday, 2 March 2022, Lana Kotze and Willem Jonker from Eco-Vet met the rather nervous, but very excited Marketing honours class to introduce them to their first industry challenge. The assignment required students to evaluate all Eco-Vet’s current media and retail touchpoints and to make recommendations for improvement, with a view toward developing a seamless omnichannel strategy.

Student teams worked on the assignment for two weeks, and presented their recommendations to the eager and expectant panel, comprising the Eco-Vet representatives, and their lecturer, Dr Michelle van der Merwe, on 17 March. Although nervous tension was felt throughout the lecture hall before the presentations commenced, this soon melted away as the student teams introduced themselves using their imaginative team names, from EcoBro’s to the Woof Pack Patrol and even the Kitten Crew. The teams’ creative animal-themed outfits and props invariably earned them a few giggles from their classmates and the panel.

Chiquita Pets
From left: Christine Kennedy, Jade Greyling, Willem Jonker (Eco-Vet),
Lana Kotze (Eco-Vet), Megan Stafford (team leader), Taskeen Sheik Ahmed and Deonardo Canha
The evening proved to be a splendid learning experience for all. Students not only revealed valuable insights and omnichannel strategy ideas for Eco-Vet, but also learnt from one another and from the panel’s feedback. Kotze mentioned that she had learnt something valuable from each team, while Jonker stated: “We had high expectations coming into this, and you have exceeded our expectations.”
Before the evening came to a close, the Eco-Vet team was faced with the tough task of choosing the winning team. A big congratulations to the ‘Chiquita Pets’ team, who won over the panel with their in-depth research into the organisation and unique problem-solving techniques.

From left to right: Meagan de Lange, Lizelle Nagel, Johann Smidt, Lindile Jabavu (team leader) and Thristan Pillay

The runners-up team, K9 Crew, certainly took ‘K9’ to the next level in their matching dog ears, bows and tails! I guess you could say they were given a huge round of 'appaws'.
Congratulations to the Marketing Management Honours Class of 2022 for a very successful start to the year!
Published by Nonkululeko Kubeka Moyo

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