A marketing class project sponsored by 137-year-old watchmaking company Breitling was the perfect opportunity for our undergraduate students to apply their problem-solving skills and analytical mindset in a real-world setting. As part of the BM3501 Marketing Strategy module, their task was to develop a marketing strategy which focused on the young consumer market.
At the end of the project, Zealeria Goh Zhi Wei, Shirmaine Tham and Ashley Phoon were selected as the top three performers and were invited to present their respective strategy proposals to the President of Breitling Asia Mr Alvin Soon, and other senior leaders at the Breitling office recently.
Our students were excited to talk about their presentations to the senior management of Breitling and what they learnt from the experience.
Zealeria who won the top prize for his presentation shared that this was one of the more exciting projects within the school modules. “It was an enjoyable experience having to apply marketing strategy concepts taught by Assoc Prof Lewis Lim, and seeing theories come to life for a brand with a deep heritage and amazing products like Breitling.”
Zealeria Goh with his Breitling leather briefcase
Reflecting on how he felt when he emerged as the champion, Zealeria said, “I am humbled and thankful to be named the top performer. The outcome is a bonus for me as what I value
most is the learning experience, and I am grateful to have cultivated stronger skill sets as an aspiring marketer through this project.”
found it a nerve-wrecking experience, as it was her first time presenting to someone in a senior position. “I was very nervous at first, but it turned out to be a great experience. Mr Soon was very encouraging and gave very insightful comments about our presentations and proposals.”
Ashley shared similar feelings – in fact, she had wanted to reject the presentation offer initially, but decided otherwise as she realised it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for her to gain exposure. “Aside from the fact that Mr Soon and Assoc Prof Lim kept drilling each of us with tough questions about our proposals, the presentation went smoothly,” Ashley commented.
One would think that the toughest part of the project was
presentation, however, all three students shared that the biggest challenge they faced was at the idea-generation stage.
“I did not have much knowledge about watches, so I had to spend a considerable amount of time doing research before commencing the project. In addition, conducting in-depth interviews was a challenge too, as it was difficult to find young watch connoisseurs within our social circles,” said Shirmaine.
Ashley commented, “Given that the luxury watch market was highly cluttered with many equally strong brands, it was difficult to come up with ideas that would help the Breitling brand differentiate itself from the competition.”
Zealeria commented that in order to define a clear framework for his proposed strategies, primary research had to be conducted thoroughly, and appropriate assumptions had to be made. “The main challenge was definitely the limited secondary research resources available with regard to
perceptions towards Breitling in the local context,” he added.
Assoc Prof Lewis presenting a token of appreciation to Mr Soon at the Breitling office
Notwithstanding the challenges, the students took away many positive learnings from the project.
Shirmaine shared, “After completing this project, I now have a better understanding of the luxury market in general and the upcoming trends. I also learnt more about
purchase intentions, digital consumption, and the consumer journey of consumers below the age of thirty.
“You reap what you sow,” said Ashley. Even though the project was very time-consuming, she felt that the deep insights she gained during her research and from Mr Soon himself were definitely worth her time and effort.
“If I could summarise everything in just one sentence, it would be: Step out of your comfort zone, because you will never know what you might gain,” Ashley said.
Zealeria shared, “My first takeaway would be the learning and application of valuable marketing strategy concepts which are certainly useful in my future career. The second would undeniably be the honour and experience to be able to present to Mr Soon, who was really sincere in his advice and in helping us improve.”
“Ashley and Shirmaine both presented very interesting and innovative ideas, which helped me to gain different perspectives on this project as well. All in all, everyone did a great job!” Zealeria said.
Zealeria, Ashley and Shirmaine extended their gratitude to Assoc Prof Lim for his close guidance and teachings, going above and beyond for his students to coordinate this project collaboration with Breitling.
At the end of the presentation, each student received a premium leather briefcase, typically reserved for brand VIPs and not for commercial sale. You may spot them carrying the briefcases in school next semester!
L to R: Zealeria Goh, Ashley Phoon, and Shirmaine Tham receiving their Breitling briefcases from Mr Soon