As we wrapped up the first week of classes this semester, students from the Center for Brand and Product Management and the A.C. Nielsen Center for Market Research boarded a plane bound for Cincinnati, OH. Thanks to Procter & Gamble, the CBPM first year students had the opportunity to get some hands on experience with finding consumer insights and building products to solve consumer problems.

Our day kicked off with the opportunity to interview African American consumers in order to gain some understanding of their hair care routine. With the help of our P&G advisers, we learned how to go beyond the surface issues and ask questions that really got to the true tensions that cause this segment of consumers to have negative associations with their hair.

Once we identified these tensions, we continued the exercise by developing a new product that provided a true benefit for our consumers. Once again our P&G advisors helped us to develop our idea so that our products solved a human tension while conveying to our consumers a strong reason to believe. 

he day ended with all groups presenting their findings and pitching our new ideas to P&G marketers. Despite the accelerated nature of this new product development exercise, the feedback we received throughout the day really provided a primer for us to start thinking and acting like marketers. For the second-year students, it was a continuation of all the great lessons they learned from their summer internships. For the first-year students, it was an exciting taste of the kind of challenges that await this coming summer.

We would be remiss if we didn’t thank the great Badger network at P&G for making this learning possible. After a hard day’s work, we were generously treated to a great happy hour and dinner, at which we had the opportunity to get to know our great alumni. The trip was capped the next day by a great sendoff brunch at the home of Carrie Rathod (MBA ’05) and her husband Sanyog. We look forward to next year’s trip and another great applied learning!