Marketing mix, understanding promotions, coming up with slogans
One of the first business lessons, that took place in early September, was the introduction to business activity and roles in business. Students were divided into pairs where each student in the pair had a different role in the company. The students then worked together on their roles, writing bullet points of their daily responsibilities and how they contribute to making profit in that particular business.
In one of the marketing lessons students were given case studies that involved KFC flavored nail polish and diversification of Mcdonald's products. Students were given roles of an analyst where they needed to study the advertisements given in order to conclude how these differentiation strategies benefit business brand extension and contribute to profit retention. Students learnt the different stages of the analysis, and enjoyed observing one of the most successful businesses from the critic's point of view.
In another lesson regarding promotion, the students were given two lists, one containing names of famous persons and other containing different goods. Students had a task to connect the person to a good for the purpose of sponsorship. Students learnt how important it is to know what you are selling in order to promote it well, as well as how a bad sponsorship could lead to business failure and even unwanted lawsuits.
Students also enjoyed creating slogans for different products. Actually, students were presented with the range of different products like tires, soap, gas station, sandals to create slogans that represent the core of these products and are appealing enough for consumers to purchase. This interesting activity brought amusement to the classroom and taught the students to fully appreciate the marketing department of a business and the difficulty of creating the image of a brand.
Young entrepreneurs in action
During one of their first Business Studies lessons, Savremena’s students learned how to design a business plan and how to manage project finances. They were given 5 plastic chips, each of which represented 500$ in start-up capital, upon which they had to design a business plan and start their own business.
Business Studies teacher Tatjana Vilček set the following game rules: students can participate on their own, in a pair or in a group. Most of the students decided to pair up with one of their peers to increase their capital and thus have more resources available for starting a demanding business venture which they presented in their business plan.
On the other hand, some students wished to work alone. They were able to take out a loan from the bank i.e. their teacher which they would pay off each month with interest. The loan repayment costs also had to be factored into the business plan.
A different fun activity was used to cover the vertical and horizontal integration of companies. The head, shoulders, knees and toes game was the most effective way of teaching students about vertical integration, after which students had to think up of a company for each of the named body parts. Horizontal integration was demonstrated in an activity where students formed a chain by holding hands and tugged at it to show how strong the chain of cooperation needs to be.
During a different Business Studies lesson, students visited the Constantine the Great hotel and talked to its management team on how a hotel is run. They were able to ask the managers everything they wished to know about modern business management and learn from some of the most successful people in the hospitality industry.
It is through such creative activities that the students were able to experience first hand the importance and the practicality of the tasks they were assigned, of designing a business plan and of teamwork. In the process they learned a thing or two about themselves as well like whether some of them are aspiring business leaders who will one day lead their own successful business.