Rubber meets the road as Erwin Center students collaborate with Uniroyal
Teams of Erwin Center for Brand Communications students have been collaborating virtually with Uniroyal tires this semester in developing strategic insights and campaign concepts to target new consumers for the Michelin-brand manufacturer.
Brand Strategy and Brand Creation and Communications courses have been led, respectively, by Jackie Herr, Erwin Center faculty member, and board member and Andy Mendelsohn, chief creative officer at Greenville-based Bright+Co: Smart Marketing Consortium. Both classes recently presented their research and recommendations to Uniroyal’s leadership as part of their final exam.
As Clemson University navigates online learning, Uniroyal’s brand team has stayed engaged with students virtually, helping them experience real-life pivots necessary to keep a project moving forward in uncertain times, like those brought on by the pandemic.
“This authentic client experience is allowing our students to apply course concepts to a real brand project, while furthering their professional development,” said Herr, whose class has been developing a creative brief and define tactical insight plans for the Uniroyal brand. “The experience has been enhanced for our students by the necessary adjustments brought
on by COVID-19. This is real-world experiential learning at its finest.”
Students in Herr and Mendelsohn’s courses are performing marketing research to identify key industry trends and growth opportunities for the Uniroyal brand. The students are also learning how to develop a strong brand, while creating meaningful value for their client’s customers.
Throughout the semester, students have been strategizing insight-driven actions to execute on the project, while communicating their insights with Uniroyal representatives.
“This collaboration challenges me to be insight-driven and allows our class to dig into a new industry to create a meaningful story,” said Jane Janick, an Erwin Center student. “Being surrounded by students who have similar goals motivates me and confirms that brand communications is the industry where I belong. I look forward to applying these course skills to deliver for our client.”
While Herr’s class focuses on insight planning, Mendelsohn’s students have created brand communications strategies and creative messaging to drive new brand experiences for Uniroyal.
“We’ve had two goals in this class. First, invest the students with a true understanding of what it’s like to work in the branding business so that if they decide to make it their career, they will do it with enthusiasm and commitment,” Mendelsohn said. “Secondly, I am preparing them in a way so that when they walk in on their first day, they have a foundation of knowledge that gives them a true head start.”
“These students have the opportunity to help drive Uniroyal’s iconic brand and mission forward, said Katie Hildebrand, executive director of the Erwin Center. “This project is another great example of how the Erwin Center’s talented students are able to gain access to hands-on, brand project challenges to accelerate their future careers.”
About The Erwin Center for Brand Communications
The Erwin Center for Brand Communications is a “teaching hospital” for future brand communications professionals. Learning by doing in disciplines ranging from advertising, marketing, research, strategy, media and analytics, prepares Erwin Center students to be market-ready professionals in a variety of communications fields.
Caroline Trembly is a 2020 College of Business graduating senior who is majoring in Marketing and minoring in Brand Communications.