MBA Team Takes Third in Brand Management Challenge

Brand new winners (l. to r.): Nandita Batra, Agustina Sacerdote, Andrea Schalka, Gabe Cohen, Melissa Millan

Somewhere (though probably not on YouTube) is video of five Berkeley MBA students “dancing like crazy” in the wee hours at a pizza place. That would be the team of students competing in this past weekend’s Elite Eight Case Competition, using music to keep themselves alert in their 30th hour of preparing their case analysis.

 Apparently it worked: Full-time MBA students Nandita Batra, Gabe Cohen, Melissa Millan, Agustina Sacerdote, and Andrea Schalka, all MBA 13, claimed third prize in the annual Carlson School competition. The team beat out Duke, Wharton, and Kellogg to bring home $3,000 and the mantle of Berkeley-Haas as an ongoing powerhouse in this invitation-only competition.

This year’s challenge was to modernize an 80-year-old food brand through a repositioning and marketing plan.

“Our goal was to leverage emotional connection with the brand, since its functional attributes were well known,” says Schalka.  She says the Berkeley-Haas team distinguished itself with its consumer insights and by ensuring consistency between the new positioning for the brand and the marketing plan that would activate it. Not to mention some sweet moves on the dance floor.

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