A three-woman team from Loyola University Chicago has won GfK’s sixth annual Next Generation (“NextGen”) Competition, for research on loyalty programs and co-branding in an age when digital and in-person shopping are increasingly intertwined.
The NextGen Competition encourages undergraduate students to design and execute market research and data analysis on top-of-mind issues for brands and marketers. The winning team receives a $1,000 cash prize, as well as a visit to GfK’s New York City headquarters to learn about market research as a career and get feedback on its work from industry professionals.
The winning team – Madeline Doering, Mingyan Zhang, and Meghan Adams – looked for a correlation between co-branding and loyalty programs in the fashion industry in an age of “omnishopping.” Through a survey and a mobile simulation game, they gathered insights from more than 250 participants, and discovered a lack of customer attention to co-branding campaigns while shopping online, compared to higher engagement while shopping in-store.
The Loyola team consists of graduating seniors majoring in Market Research, Marketing, or Statistics; their faculty adviser for the NextGen project was Stacy Neier Beran, a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business.
This year, for the first time, marketers and researchers from major brands participated in the competition as NextGen Mentors, evaluating proposals and final papers and, in some cases, sharing their experiences and insights with the winning team in one-on-one dialogue. The Loyola students had one-on-one discussions during their New York stay with:
· Anshu Gupta (Global Marketing Director,
Alzheimer’s Diagnostics, Eli Lilly & Co.)
· Mary Colleen Hershey (Vice President, Consumer &
Marketplace Insights, Nestle S.A.)
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