Marketing honours students charged UP for solar client challenge

Posted on September 20, 2022

The BCom Honours (Marketing Management) Class of 2022 partnered with Prof Adré Schreuder (founder of Shadré Consulting and Extraordinary Professor in the Department of Marketing Management at UP) and Alumo Energy (an alternative energy solution company that provides industry-leading energy-saving solutions to the residential market) for a unique and exciting project.
Although Alumo already sells a successful top-quality solar inverter and battery system, the company is in the process of redefining its product portfolio and pricing strategy, under the guidance of Prof Schreuder.

Winners: Solar Cartel 
From left: Megan Stafford, Jenna Moll, Sabrina Dias (team leader), Jade Thompson and Elizma van Zyl
To assist with Alumo’s growth plans, the Marketing honours students were required to perform an in-depth analysis of Alumo Energy’s latest market research data and from their analyses, recommend an updated persona design, an updated customer journey map, and advise the client on appropriate customer experience (Cx) solutions. Students were also tasked to calculate a minimum, maximum and ideal price range for buying or renting the solar systems, using the Van Westendorp (VW) Pricing Sensitivity Measure (PSM).

Second place: Power Pros
From left: Mvelo Nkosi, Taskeen Sheik Ahmed (team leader), Duané Kitching, Lara Jacobs, Viraj Devdhara

On Wednesday, 6 April 2022, the Marketing honours students presented their recommendations to their second industry client. Even though the nine teams used the same research data, each team’s ideas and recommendations were refreshingly different. After each presentation, the panel asked the student teams in-depth questions (to teach students to think on their feet and demonstrate a thorough understanding of the content), and provided the students with helpful insights that will stand them in good stead in the world-of-work. Despite the steep learning curve, the students performed exceptionally well, much to the ‘de-light’ of the Alumo Energy panel, Prof Schreuder, and their lecturer, Dr Michelle C. van der Merwe.

Third place: Soleil
From left: Jade Greyling, Filip Jelic, Jess Barnsley (team leader), Rohma Hasan and Kiara Louw
The winning team was Solar Cartel, who stunned the panel with a catchy introduction and their dual persona design and insights. In second place were the Power Pros, who suggested using a memorable “Solarcoaster” customer journey map. Third place went to team Soleil (the French word for ‘sun’), who dressed like Steve Jobs (which the panel loved). The Sweet Surprise received a special mention for their lively and entertaining presentation and Thristan Pillay’s captivating story-telling.

Special mention: The Sweet Surprise
From left: Thristan Pillay, Mieke Pienaar (team leader), Serina Smit and Lindile Jabavu
In conclusion, each team learnt beneficial lessons regarding presentation skills and were provided with invaluable industry insights from the panel that they will be able to use in future projects. Client Challenge 2 stretched and developed the honours group, and was an assignment that will not easily be forgotten. This successful evening was the perfect way for the honours class to end off the quarter and take a much-deserved recess break!
Published by Nonkululeko Kubeka Moyo

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