Analyzing the sports nutrition market and addressing key brand challenges facing two of Abbott Nutrition’s brands, EAS AdvantEDGE and EAS Myoplex, were the focus of a collaborative learning experience of two marketing courses taught by Salah Hassan, professor of marketing, during the spring semester. It is worth noting that the global sports nutrition market will be worth $45.27 billion by 2022. Abbott is a global healthcare company with EAS as its sports nutrition division operating in Columbus, Ohio. Senior brand manager Allison Petschauer visited the George Washington School of Business early this spring to give corporate briefings on the nature of the brand challenges assigned to teams of graduate and undergraduate students in Dr. Hassan’s classes. At the end of April, during her second visit to GWSB, Ms. Petschauer along with a panel of judges of senior executives and area brand managers who, via live streaming, offered feedback on the student teams’ final presentations. Also, while on campus, she shared some insight on her career as a brand manager.
“Brand management is such a fun and rewarding career where no day of business is ever the same. There are a multitude of opportunities and challenges to deal with on a daily basis,” Ms. Petschauer said. To build a successful career in brand management, having an MBA degree will help in being more competitive during the hiring process. But, to accelerate your brand management career, “it will be very helpful to have a comprehensive business experience that you can incorporate into any company at any role in the organization. It is great to hear that the GW School of Business is launching a graduate certificate in marketing and brand management, which will greatly help students focus on brand management skills,” she said. She also added the thought it was essential for MBAs to have a passion for they do, “as a brand manager, you want to put forth your best efforts on a day-to-day basis and have a great sense of personal and professional fulfilment.”
Commenting on our MBA students’ employability skills in brand management, Ms. Petschauer said, “the students’ experience working on real-world branding challenges facing EAS Sports Nutrition over the spring semester was a great way of preparing them for their brand management career. Also, it was a fantastic way for EAS Sports Nutrition to receive third-party reviews and analyses with strong recommendations that can absolutely be incorporated into our business. It was equally beneficial to the students and to the EAS Sports Nutrition team to strengthen some of our branding strategies and tactics.”
Ms. Petschauer reflected on how she approached developing her own career path by being flexible in different companies of various sizes that allowed her to experience making branding decisions with limited resources as well as with being supported with ample financial and human resources. This broad exposure to brand management environments helped her put herself in different corporate settings and in a variety of cross-functional contexts in ways that strengthened her skill sets as a senior brand manager. The fundamentals of brand management are the same, but applying them to different consumer target segments or in response to a variety of business challenges has broadened her experience and her career outlook. “Having a practice-based graduate certificate in brand management will give GWSB MBAs the desired focus on key skill sets and the edge needed to compete over leading corporate or branding agency positions,” concluded Ms. Petschauer. In a recent study by Forbes, it was reported that brand marketing-focused training of MBAs is an accelerator for their careers to C-suite positions and corporate leadership.
Zoe Shute, BBA ’17, who is planning a career in brand management, reflected on the course’s practice-based learning experience, saying, “this course has allowed me to gain a greater understanding of what influences consumers in their buying decisions. The importance of communicating product attributes in a way that consumers can relate to, positioning brands as industry leaders, and the necessity of finding a niche for brands in the marketplace are takeaways that I know I could utilize for a career in brand management.” Another aspiring brand manager from the GWSB MBA program summed it up: “In order to be successful in brand management, you have to keep a constant pulse on your consumers, their thoughts, feelings, and wants. A successful brand manager can predict the needs of their customer and create a brand that goes above and beyond expectations,” said Alexandria Perrin, MBA ’17.
Click here for more information on the GWSB Graduate Certificate in Marketing & Brand Management.