I teach Marketing At Melbourne University on a part time basis. One of the things I try to do is stretch my students thinking beyond the traditional marketing arenas. It seems every week we are going through another consumer goods example, or the car industry and lately social media. This week I tried something different and I had a massive fail.
The task was for students to pick a market dominated by 2 brands, and to discuss the points of partity and difference, and how the brand communications and positioning vary. After the students gave me the expected brands:
Herald Sun vs the Age
Facebook vs Myspace
Coke vs Pepsi
Nike vs Addidas
I thought I”d mix it up and asked the group to discuss Capitalism vs Communism.
In the first instance I had to convince the students they were actually brands, and it didn’t improve much from there. The idea fell on deaf ears. It was so far outside of their expectations on what marketing is (consumer goods, shiny products and TV advertising) that they lost interest. I ended up spending the remaining 45 minutes of the tutorial explaining why they are both brands which are managed exactly the same way corporations manage them. It was meant to be a discussion. I failed.
After the initial disappointment and embarrassment wore off, I was pretty happy with it. I’m glad I tried to stretch the students. I’m glad I tried something different, and maybe next week, their minds will be more open.
Startup blog says: Fail with pride.