Xavier Business Students Compete in Kao USA, Inc. Marketing Challenge Competition

May 1, 2013

This semester Xavier University’s Williams College of Business partnered for the fourth time with Kao USA Inc. to offer junior and senior marketing majors an opportunity to participate in the Kao Brands Marketing Challenge.

All junior and senior marketing majors were invited to apply and sixteen of them (four teams of four each) were selected to participate. Kao Brands presented each team with a real-world current brand marketing problem. Each team received a budget of $300 for marketing research and/or presentation graphics.

After the four teams were selected, they met with Kao USA brand managers who explained the marketing problem. Three conference calls were allowed in which each team could ask specific questions and get feedback from Kao managers. At the end of the semester each team presented final recommendations to about a dozen Kao managers at the company’s headquarters.

Kao management ranked the teams and debriefed each about what was good and what was lacking in each presentation. Each team received a cash award - $2,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 each for the remaining two teams.

The first place team this semester is:
(46546) Neil Lynch, a senior marketing major from Jasper, IN
(44012) Catalina Briola, a senior marketing major from Avon Lakes, OH
(45247) Lauren Glines, a junior marketing major from Green Township, OH
(44022) Susannah Shelley, a junior marketing major from Chagrin Falls, OH

“This program is a win-win for both our students and Kao USA,” said Clint Schertzer, associate professor of marketing and coordinator of the competition. “The students get a great opportunity to work on a real-world marketing problem for a nationally-known company while getting practical exposure to a potential employer and Kao USA gets out-of-the-box insight from the generation that represents their future customers. Participation in this competition helps set our students apart from their peers at graduation time.”