Best of the Minds Collide at BRANDWITZ 2009
The Inter Business School Branding Competition BrandWitz is one of the most prestigious branding competitions in Bangladesh. BrandWitz is organized by IBA Communication Club (IBACC). The competition is an excellent opportunity for students to demonstrate their creative potential for branding. Participating students are required to develop a real life marketing strategy for a product or service, while conforming to the requirements of feasibility and resource constraint under the current context.
In recent times there has been an increased awareness to promote Bangladesh as a brand to the outside world. Although Bangladesh suffers from the usual turmoil of corruption, poor governance and an unstable political scenario, we have also pioneered the micro-credit system, empowered women, and fought back natural calamities with resiliency second to none. Unfortunately, Bangladesh has failed to promote these positive elements to the outside world.
If a positive image of Bangladesh has to be established, it has to come from the younger generation. From branding commercial products and services to branding Bangladesh, business school graduates are well positioned to do both. From this conviction came the urge to organize the Inter Business School Marketing and Branding Competition BrandWitz. The main objective was to create a platform for the brightest of all business school students to interlock in the war of wits and thoughts as they solve business cases and develop social campaigns promoting causes and issues that affect us all.
BrandWitz 2009 was even bigger and better than BrandWitz 2008. Last year a total of 24 teams from 15 institutions participated in the competition. This year there were 135 contestants, in 45 teams from 16 reputed institutes of Bangladesh. To make this competition a success, Clear a brand of Unilever Bangladesh partnered with IBACC in the competition as the title sponsor of the event. ATN Bangla was the media partner for this event. The participating teams were University of Dhaka, Jahangir Nagar University, Chittagong University, BRAC University, American International University Bangladesh (AIUB), North South University (NSU), Independent University of Bangladesh (IUB), Stamford University, The University of Asia Pacific, Khulna University, University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, United International University, University of Development Alternative, International Islamic University of Chittagong, Shahjalal University, and lastly the host Institute of Business Administration(IBA).
The tournament officially began on November 20. Before this a number of road shows, held in the campuses of different participating institutions, created a buzz about the event. On the first day there was a workshop. The key speakers in the workshop were Tanzeen Ferdous, Senior Brand Manager, Unilever Bangladesh and Mushfiqur Rahman, Deputy Manager, Grameen Phone. All the participating teams were present during the workshop. The objective of the workshop was to give an overview on how to solve a case and on how to develop a brand. The speakers shared their valuable real life experiences in this context with the participants. The work shop was taken in two phases. The first phase focused on building brands through Integrated Marketing Communication. The second phase focused on Case Solving. The first day ended with the group draw and a briefing about the next round's activities. In the group draw, the participating teams were divided in 5 groups, with each group consisting of nine teams.
On the second day of the event, November 21, each team was given the task of solving a business case. The cases were taken from the publication of some of the world's leading universities like the University of Hongkong, Stanford Graduate School of Business, and the Business School of the University of Virginia. Each team had a time of one hour to solve their case and make a power point slide show on their solution.
The results for the first round of BrandWitz 2009 were announced after a refreshment break. 3 teams from each group, and a total of 15 teams overall moved into the second round. After the declaration of the first round's results, the qualified teams were given the topic for the second round of the competition. Thus each team had a little less than 24 hours to prepare. In the second round, on November 22, the participating teams had to develop a branding strategy for a popular Unilever brand Axe. The evaluation criteria for the second round included issue identification, innovation, strategy, implementation and feasibility, presentation skill and time management, Q&A handling skills, team work.
Axe is one of the most popular brands worldwide manufactured by Unilever. The immense popularity of brand has provoked Unilever to extend the brand from deodorant fragrance to shower and hair gels. But due to the existing social and religious scenario, branding Axe, in the conventional way is not appropriate in Bangladesh. The task was thus to design an appropriate branding campaign for
Axe, in Bangladesh, with the right appeal.
The teams came up with innovative branding techniques. The inclusion of online promotion as a part of marketing strategy was a notable feature in the presentations. The participating teams presented innovative ideas such as Facebook marketing to build and establish the brand Axe.
In the Question and Answer round, the judges questioned the teams on the feasibility, effectiveness and the return on investment of their respective strategies.
At the end of the second round of BrandWitz 2009, six teams were chosen to compete in the final round of the tournament. The teams were Epimetheus (DU- Faculty of Business Studies), Gimmick (IBA), Greenday (IBA), Illuminati (NSU), VersaCorp (IBA), Zennith (BRAC).
The grand finale of BrandWitz 2009 was held in the Bangabandhu International Convention Centre. In the final round the teams were given the task of designing a social campaign to raise awareness about Climate Change with Europe and USA as the focus group. With only 8 hours to complete the task, the participants were in a race against time. But at the end of the day, they came up with really fantastic presentations. The rules for the presentation of the final round were the same as that of the other two rounds. Each team had 10 minutes to present their case followed by a five minute Q&A session. The champion was Team Green Day, IBA, consisting of Naheyan Hye, Rifat Faruk, and Albaab-Ur-Rahman.The first runner-up was Team VersaCorp, IBA, consisting of Tausif Hossain, Shaikh Shoaib Md. Siddiqui, and Damil Alam Prakash. The second runner-up was team Illuminati, NSU, consisting of Mushfiq Wahed, Mahamudul Haque and Nadim Hamid.
The final round was very competitive. The judge panel consisted of Mr. Feroz Rahim, Group Managing Director, Rahimfrooz, Mr. Aly Zaker, Managing Director, Asiatic Marketing Communications Ltd and Naushad Chowdhury, Brands Director, Unilever. Professor Syed Munir Khasru, moderator IBACC, announced the results of the results - in the presence of reputed personalities from the media and the corporate world and faculties of the participating institutions. The champion team received a cheque of Tk. 100,000 the first and second runner-ups received a Tk. 50,000 and Tk. 25,000 respectively from Unilever Bangladesh. The grand finale of BrandWitz 09 was later broadcasted on ATN Bangla. IBACC plans to come up with an even bigger version of BrandWitz next year.
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