A favourite activity of IMC classes is the chocolate project which requires teams of students to market a new chocolate product, determine its target market, decide how it will be promoted, and convince a ‘banker’ (aka professor Steve Howell) to loan them $500,000 for its launch.
The best part of the process is the research component – that is researching the competition. If you think you know your chocolate, you might be fooled in a blind test.
There was a lot of trust in the room as student Nathanael Julien and Professor Steve Howell handed out chocolate to students who closed their eyes and popped the sweet samples of milk chocolate into their mouths. They rated the taste and texture and then cleansed their palettes with water in preparation for the next piece.
The next step in the research process was to hold focus groups of students on campus to determine what the prospective target market thinks about chocolate, its packaging and possible promotions.