Established in 2005, Future Business Magnates is a highly successful business enterprise competition for students founded by Business Durham. It’s a fun competition with an important business message. Schools from throughout County Durham take part in the exciting competition designed to introduce young entrepreneurs to the world of business and enterprise.

TICE has supported the competition since it’s inception, facilitated challenges and judged presentations, this year our task was to develop the workshop for Challenge 4: Marketing your Business. Points are available for each team if they complete their workshop successfully and each team also submits a marketing report due in April.

Teams from 23 schools throughout Durham were invited to Collingwood College, Durham University, to understand more about marketing their business ideas.  The TICE team, Jennifer Barrett, Lee Casey and Lottie Maddison had challenges ready and set to go, taking the teams through various aspects of marketing and promotional strategies. We decided not to let the teams instantly concentrate on their own businesses but instead take the tools and skills we would develop in the workshop so they could then reapply all tasks in their own time.

TASK ONE: Setting the Scene

For any business to be successful a USP (unique selling point) is a must. This task was to make sure that the young FBM teams knew that business needed to develop its identity. What would customers associate with your business?
For this challenge, we decided on a scenario of a run down cafe which was due to be re-opened and was in desperate need of reinvention and a new marketing campaign. Each team were asked to think about what their USP was, what would make this cafe stand out compared to other cafes in the area?

Teams got to choose from various types of cafes and this set the scene for their marketing plans.

TASK TWO: Target Market

As we know, figuring out who your target market is, is a very important task. The marketing plan (and business plan as a whole) needs to be centred around this element. This next task enabled each group to identify their market, but not only that, were they all on the same page when thinking about who their audience was?

TICE as TICE does best, presented a very creative way of figuring this out, the teams were asked to create their ‘Exquisite Corpse Drawing’. In secret, each member of the team had to draw only a small part of the perfect customer to their cafe.

Some of the results! As we see, maybe not all on the same page (yet), but now it was clear some important discussions were to be had discussing who exactly they were targeting. Plus is was extremely funny revealing the final drawings! 😉

TASK THREE: The Marketing Communications Mix

Now, the all important marketing communications mix. Our third task was to explain all the elements of the marketing communication mix (or promotional mix). As many will know, this task is rather immense, however we devised ways of explaining ‘Advertising’, ‘Sales Promotion’, ‘Public Relations’, ‘Direct Marketing’ and ‘Personal Selling’ so each of the teams could understand the concept of each process and also choose which element was more suitable to their cafe idea.

Each team completed task sheets which asked them to discuss all the choices they were given and why they would be good promotional avenues for their business.

TASK FOUR: Promotional Budgeting

The all important money! It can be very tempting to choose as many promotional options as possible as each and every business can be very excited to let everyone know about their new business idea. However… there’s always a cost. This exercise was to help the teams understand the pricing but also calculate from the previous task what their promotional choices had cost. Or what could they do themselves?

TASK FIVE: Developing your Brand Identity

The final task of the day, the branding. We explained to the teams that now they knew their business, they knew their target market and they also knew what promotional avenues they could use, plus what it would cost them. Now, it was time to take all that information and produce a logo that they thought represented their brand identity. With some excellent drawing skills and loads of ideas, the teams were set away with sourcing colour palettes and shaping their logo ideas.

From the TICE Team, good luck to all FBM teams. We look forward to reading your Challenge 4 reports and best of luck for the remainder of the competition.