[photopress:mba_tsingtao.jpg,full,alignright]One of the great attractions of the MBA is the way it is taught. Typically it uses case studies. Students find out the nuts and bolts of business. And are able to demonstrate their skill.
Take a recent contest where seven teams were presented with the sort of challenge to which students can respond. What they had to do was develop a strategy for increasing the U.S. market share of Tsingtao Beer, China’s largest and most popular brand.
Some, a cruel few, might say it has become an international beer without a flavor of its own and the answer would be to improve the brand. This was not in the brief.
Four University of Washington MBA students won the contest — allegedly the first international business case competition ever held in Beijing — with a plan to target likely customer segments by redesigning labels, adding fortunes (I presume something like the cookie fortunes which are an American NOT Chinese invention) and rebranding one of the beers as ‘Tao.’
That name may be more appropriate than you think.
One meaning is the unchanging principle behind the universe; unproduced producer of all that is. The Tao-te Ching describes it as ‘something formlessly fashioned, that existed before Heaven and Earth.’ That feeling will not be unknown to people who have imbibed a dozen or more bottles of the brew.
It is contests like this one, both with the university and with other universities, which give MBA students practical experience is dealing with practical problems.
Source: Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)