A series of recent events, aptly entitled the 'Swap Shop'
series, gave my fellow MSc in Marketing and Creativity students and
I a chance to hear our colleagues discuss their previous work
experience. These events (of which this was the second) have made
for a thoroughly engaging six hours in total.
Four classmates discussed their wonderfully diverse experience,
skill sets and prior roles in the most recent Swap Shop. One
classmate had spent time on an intricate part of the marketing
strategy for a bullet-proof fashion label in Colombia, and shared a
fascinating overview of his work. It was interesting to see how
this company continuously responded to its market and customer
base. The company didn't reinvent the wheel, but came to an
existing market with an innovative attitude and a fast response to
consumer need as its competitive advantage.
From another student we heard about a different kind of
marketing: the marketing strategy for developing a shopping mall,
including positioning and competitive advantage. We were offered an
insight into strategies for such projects and the challenges in
performing client management efficiently, as well as real examples
of challenges faced by the development company through its dealings
with various marketing and market research agencies.
Another colleague brought to our attention a marketing agency's
chocolate bar campaign and branding strategy. This genius campaign
was a lesson in reverse psychology marketing and the power of
packaging, as well as an insight into the challenge marketers
frequently face following successful campaigns: how to keep the
The challenge of remaining relevant was a common theme
throughout these presentations. Another presenter had worked at a
leading French luxury Brand as part of the Public Relations team,
and what I found most compelling in this case was the fact that,
despite being a company with a rich heritage, it has constantly
innovated its brand and image. Some examples included press events
and creative moves, to create unique and sustainable products such
as jewellery, key rings and even clocks.
This concept actually went down the 're-creation' path and is
certainly creativity at its finest. The brand is as creative - if
not more so - than some of the more fashion-forward luxury labels
with which it competes. It has succeeded where other heritage
labels have fallen by the wayside - they have, as an MSc in
Marketing and Creativity student would define it, rethought the
rules of the game. It has consistently adapted to the times.
Through these Swap Shop events (created by the Programme's two
directors Marie Taillard and Peter Stephenson-Wright), the class
gained invaluable industry knowledge and discovered practical
examples of the incredible industry-wide need for creativity in
marketing, as well as its vital position at the centre of both
large and small businesses.