Because of the recent Coronavirus outbreak, all of our final weeks in EBD will be done virtually. You can still follow along with our teams’ journeys here on the blog and at our twitter account @ebd_bangor. 

After last week’s Pecha Kucha Presentations, it’s time for our students to see just how viable their ideas are in the marketplace. While they have been learning about designing their products, using sustainable materials and visiting their partnering business to help create their products, the challenge now is to take the last seven weeks and show how their ideas are worthwhile business opportunities. This week we follow our teams as they learn how to use real world practices, putting together a business plan. 

Converting ideas into opportunities

Dr Siwan Mitchellmore, Senior Lecturer in Business and Marketing, gave a talk to our teams on how to take their ideas to the next level by questioning if the teams’ ideas are viable in the marketplace and are there people out there who could value their idea enough to pay for it. By asking our teams to look more critically into their ideas, Siwan is showing them the challenges real businesses and entrepreneurs face everyday, which is finding out if their ideas add value to the end user and if there is a unique need for their product on the market. 

Our teams are having to dig deeper than their initial concepts, by conducting key elements in a business plan such as market research, looking into their competition, who their potential customers could be and the financial implications and resource requirements for their ideas. As much as it is important that their products have functional designs and are appealing to interact with, it’s just as important that they plan for everything else, such as what skills or resources would be required to create their product, and how much it would cost to package and produce the product. Through producing a business plan by the end of the 10 weeks, our EBD students go from being interdisciplinary teams, to entrepreneurial partners with real business plans to pitch!

Promoting Their Unique Selling Points 

No matter how great our teams’ ideas are, it is now crucial that they’re able to sell their concepts effectively through showcasing their unique selling point. Siwan encouraged our teams to find what their idea’s value is and express it in just one sentence! 

You’re looking for two roads that are different enough that you create some energy, but not so different that you can’t realistically bring them together.

Siwan Mitchellmore

Our teams then had to come up with their unique selling points and present it to the room. While it would seem easy to come up with one sentence, it was hard for our students not to elaborate. By creating this unique selling point to pitch, our students have to express their target market, show the problem they solve, explain their distinctive benefits and define the promise they’d deliver to customers. This exercise will help our students on the final night to present their ideas with clarity and allow them to show the unique benefits of their ideas without confusing the judges or potential customers. 

Promoting their Brand

Next up, Dr Steffan Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Media, talked to our teams about branding and creating their own website to present on the final night. By creating or working off of their company’s brands, our teams can create websites and videos that effectively appeal to their partnering business’ target market, whilst establishing a professional and trustworthy brand voice for their new products. 

Steffan encouraged our teams to think about the type of persona that their brand represents and then to write a description of that person including psychographics and demographics. Through their knowledge of the consumer, our teams will be able to create media that appeals to their consumers’ values, background, preferred activities and behavioral patterns. 

On the final night, our teams will have a website for judges to go through and will present either a 30 second promotional video or a walk through of their website. This will allow our teams to take the ideas they’ve developed over the weeks and present them in a way that is understandable and enticing to an everyday crowd. Our teams not only have to show they understand the concepts they’ve learned and have developed the physical aspects of their idea, but also how to communicate and present it to a crowd effectively. 

As the last week of expert guidance comes to an end, we’re excited to see how our teams’ ideas have transformed from brainstorming sessions and paper forms to business plans with media and branding!