A team of MBA students from NC State took first place in a contest to rebrand the state of North Carolina. The competition, sponsored by the state’s Commerce Department and the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, challenged college students to “capture and document what makes North Carolina, North Carolina.”
NC State’s winning team, dubbed “Cardinal Marketing Group,” included Annie Bishop, Christie Montague, Meagan Sams and Lauren Wright. They beat more than 100 other teams to nab the contest’s $5,000 prize.
The team’s full-scale marketing campaign proposed that the state adopt the slogan, “Chart Your Own Course.” It recommended the use of digital channels, including a mobile app, to drive messaging.
“Our brand campaign shines a light on what North Carolina stands for: opportunity, innovation, excellence, variety, beauty and fun,” Wright said.
Cardinal Marketing Group was one of three NC State teams competing in the finals of the competition last week at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.
Most of the students competing on behalf of NC State were veterans of the Consumer Innovation Practicum, a hands-on graduate marketing course taught through the Consumer Innovation Consortium in the Poole College of Management. Students in the program work with faculty advisers and partner companies on custom-designed research projects aimed at answering marketing and consumer behavior question posed by client companies AmerisourceBergen, Bayer CropScience, Burt’s Bees and Cotton Incorporated.
NC State teams that made it to the finals included:
- Where Goodness Grows: Scott Barnes, Chad Clapp, Kurleen John, Janelle Tracy, Lea Haile and Jared Whitehead
- North Carolina: For All Seasons: Hollie Jones, Daniel Easley, Nathalie Donaghy, Sajani Abraham and Mina Liu.
“The work submitted by all three teams was incredible, and for them to be among the top 5 percent of submissions brings to life the concepts we are teaching as part of the consumer innovation curriculum,” said CIC Director Colbey Reid.
She noted that the students constructed a persuasive argument for their brand by leveraging the kind of design techniques that move consumers – and judges.
“They drew from art, music, good storytelling and a personable presenting style to design their brand,” she said.