ENHANCING ENTREPRENEURIAL SKILLS BY DEVELOPING A MARKETING CASE ON THE INNOVATIVE PRODUCT 'POWERINSOLE'
The aim of this paper is to introduce and discuss an easy-to-use case for fostering entrepreneurial skills of students who may – but do not necessarily have to – have prior knowledge of marketing management. There is an abundance of research showing that cases are an effective method for enhancing factual knowledge as well as intra- and interpersonal skills. Therefore, the use of cases seems appropriate in order to foster entrepreneurial skills that also require knowledge of business management, particularly marketing management, personal and social skills. However, many cases deal with sophisticated products that students cannot fully understand nor easily relate to or with products that they are not interested in. Consequently, it can be difficult for teachers to spark and maintain students‘ interest in the subject matter. Hence, it seems desirable to find a business case that deals with an innovative high-tech product that students can relate to, find interesting and that is also easy to understand. The recently developed innovative powerinsole is such a product and can easily be brought to the classroom so that students get an impression and a better idea of a product that needs to be marketed by young entrepreneurs. Students can acquire and/or apply their knowledge about marketing management as well as improve their personal and social skills by building a business case on how to promote such a product. Students only need to be provided with a short introduction in the product specifications as well as some information on the production process and site which can easily be given – either in written form or orally – within 10 to 15 minutes. Then students can get started to work on the case – either independently or in groups. Teachers can choose from a variety of tasks that are related to the case and can either assign all tasks to all students or assign each group with different tasks, depending on the amount of time available. The tasks comprise the use of research findings on the effectivity of the product, the identification of market research activities that can be carried out with a limited budget as well as the identification of the target market(s), making marketing decisions on distribution channels and on promotional activities. The papers comprises the basic information about the product and its production, the assignments for the students, some suggestions on how to solve the problems and how the learning outcome can be evaluated. One of the authors has actually been involved in the marketing process of the product, the other is a business educator who has already worked with business cases in introductory marketing courses.