Kilts Holds Inaugural Quantitative Case Competition
By Lauren Anderson '15 | december, 2013, Issue 1
Team Booth Tank: Ahsan Kirmani, Jessie Cobb, Sarah Mangiapane, Joanna Wung and Jason Schwab (Photo courtesy of Kilts Center for Marketing)
On Nov. 16 the Kilts Center for Marketing partnered with Kraft Foods to host a spectacular case competition! The Kilts Center received nearly 20 entries for the case competition over three weeks, although only 10 teams of four to five students were selected to participate in the event. For full competition details see the article on the Kilts Center website.
Student perspective: Team Booth Tank (First place winner)
Chicago Business: Can you give me superlatives for each team member?
Team Booth Tank:
Jason Schwab: video-editing master
Joanna Wung: industry-expert
Sarah Mangiapane: white-board specialist
Ahsan Kirmani: case-competition veteran
Jessie Cobb: analytics enthusiast
CB: Let's start from the beginning, how did you form your team?
TBT: We knew that Kraft was looking for diversity within the group so we made sure we formed a team with people from different backgrounds and professional experiences even if that meant working with some people we did not know before! A funny story that I will always remember was when we were making our application video, Ahsan grabbed a random Chinese man and then consummated a deal with him in the lobby of Gleacher. Jason had a lot of fun shooting the video.
CB: Tell me about a challenge you faced when formulating your case.
TBT: There were lots of solid arguments for and against several different segments we were considering targeting. We also had a tough time coming up with a never-been-done-before innovative product that made sense and would catch Kraft's attention. In the end, after several debates, we decided to go with a savory peanut spread.
CB: If you could pinpoint one aspect of your group that made you so successful what would it be?
TBT: Our diversity of talents and experiences is definitely what made our team successful. The team bond was also another factor of success. For two and half days, we splurged on samples of different brands of peanut butter, challenged each other in all directions and held late night Google Hangout sessions on Friday night in our PJs. The whole experience was the best part of this case competition.
CB: Was there ever a time when you were frustrated?
TBT: There was definitely a point when we felt stalemated about which segments to target. It was easy to get too excited about new innovation ideas and get carried away by products not suitable for our target segments. The great thing was that someone (Sara!) in the team would always keep us in check so that we didn't come up with something that our target consumers did not want.
CB: How did you celebrate your achievement?
TBT: We all had a great time at Golden Gargoyles in our '20s garb that evening.
Kilt Center perspective: Emily Silkaitis, Program Manager, Kilts Center for Marketing
Chicago Business: What was the Kilt Center's thought process behind the competition? Why Kraft? Why a case competition?
Emily Silkaitis: The CMO of Kraft has had a close relationship with Kilts for years and a member of the steering committee is employed by Kraft. We wanted to raise awareness of the Kilts Center and promote marketing at Chicago Booth - and we did. There was a variety of concentrations that applied and succeeded so we really did reach a wider audience than just marketing concentrations at Booth.
CB: How did you choose the teams?
ES: Nineteen teams applied and ten were selected to compete on Nov. 16. Katie Bell (Associate Director) and the student group put together questions for the application last spring, which included "if you could have one Kraft product for a year what would it be and why?" After eliminating a couple teams, the Kilts Center sent the rest to Kraft representatives to pick final teams.
CB: Tell me a fun story about the competition.
ES: The week before the competition, teams had a lunch reception with Kraft representatives for competition details. To determine which team got which presentation slots, they were given a brand alphabet quiz. Teams were given a sheet of paper with the letters A through Z on it. Whichever team could guess the correct brand, by identifying the font, got to choose their presentation slot first.
CB: What were the judges' thoughts on the competition?
ES: The judges (two professors from Booth and three representatives from Kraft) were just impressed with how young everyone was - most teams were first-year students who were only five weeks into the school year. Some had not even been taught the five P's but were doing presentations that included the analysis.
The following ten teams were chosen to participate in the Quantitative Case Competition:
Capri Sun Chasers: Jessica Caballero, Mariam Choudhury, Amy Poon, Matt Riezman, Sally Yoon
The K-Team: Borja Badiola, Jonathan Dold, Will Han, Ankit Jain, Tejash Patel
Strategy Krafters (first runner-up – tied): Gianne Gabrielle Cristobal, Lee Stuart Ettleman, Jefferson Calvert Kohler, Marina Dina Lidow, Jacqueline Suzanne Singh
The Cheez Whizards: Christopher Brimmage, Brian Geddes, John Heagy, Espinosa Mattar, Yazmin Montserrat, Joseph Puccio
Team A1: Conor Devitt, Jackie Klein, Chris Panagiotopoulos, Dorothy Voorhees, YaoYao Wang
K2M (first runner-up – tied): Healy Adams, Aubrey Donnella, Rushan Guan, Sophia Stone, Emily Theis
Kraft Singles: Mohit Bhasin, Alexandra Kern, Linh Lam, Caio Macedo, Luca Pizzuto,
Kraft Marketing All Stars: Kathryn Goodman, Brian Holtz , Kendra Nasseri , David Rabie , Mary Restrepo
Marketing Kraftsmen: Julie Ginsberg, Sanchi Gupte, Stefan Hennessy, Alpana Kelkar
Booth Tank (winning team): Jessie Cobb, Ahsan Kirmani , Sara Mangiapane , Jason Schwab, Joanna Wung