Congratulations to Katelynn K., a student at Wichita State University, for winning second place in the HALO Fall 2016 Scholarship Contest. Katelynn learned how marketing can influence her future career through an internship with College Works Painting. Through the program, Katelynn ran her own painting business. Among other responsibilities, she outlined a marketing plan, acquired new clients and managed a budget. “During the internship, I generated 116 leads,” Katelynn said.
Read Katelynn’s winning essay below.
Essay Topic: Choose a brand, company or organization founded in the last 20 years and explain how an effective marketing strategy succeeded or how an ineffective marketing strategy failed.
In the days of limited—but still very existent—access to social media, before everyone had a smartphone and no one knew what an “app” was, organizations were coming up with multitudes of new ideas to utilize sites such as MySpace and Facebook to connect users and solve common problems. Mikel Cortés Arrondo is one out of four members of one such organization. During my study abroad in San Sebastian, Spain, I had the opportunity to attend a presentation given by Arrondo, who is now a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Deusto Business School. At the end of 2007, his group of young entrepreneurs vied to start their own business using the latest technology, their goal being to combine Web 2.0 and travel to change the structure of the tourist sector. The four students were connected by their love of travel and frustration with the current travel tools at their disposal.
While participating in an innovation program called iNNoVaNDiS, the group’s proposal started as a simple idea: a customizable platform where Facebook users could import their friends and share in the preparation, enjoyment, and memorabilia process that all tourists go through. “These days tour operators decide where people go, where they stay, and the activities they do,” said one group member during their initial presentation. “Imagine that all your friends on Facebook share the trips they´ve done with you, they give you advice on what to see in their cities, or even put you up themselves when they get to the city,” said Arrondo (Arrondo, Trourist Case, 2013). The platform was appropriately named trourist, a combination of “true” and “tourist” in an effort to instill a sense of reality, and was given the tagline “Keep Traveling Real.”
The iNNoVaNDiS program awarded the budding businessmen’s successful presentation with a grant in order to launch their business idea. The group members clearly placed their trust in the idea and showed great promise, winning the Jose Manuel Kutz prize for most innovative idea, the Diario Vasco prize for best 2.0 web site, and the Nonick startup 2.0 competition finalist award. “Winning awards is not what we’re about. But it kinda [sic] says: you must be doing something right,” (trourist, Awards and Recognition we’ve earned, 2009).
However, even with all their planning, hard work, and achievements, the company never quite took off—but this does not mean they failed! In order to gain more experience with traveling, the group had embarked on a thirty-three-day journey to eight cities all in different countries, creating a spinoff of trourist called “ExperienceLess” through inspiring videos. The video series made different statements, the main one being, “I’m EXPERIENCELESS. HELP ME. I don’t want to see the city, I want to LIVE it” (trourist, ExperienceLess, 2009). The creative videos caught the attention of people and businesses back home and gave the young entrepreneurs the idea to instead use their experience and talents to mold their company into something new: a small but successful creative agency called Breaking Molds that uses strategy, creativity and design to make brands more preferable than their competitors (Breaking Molds, 2016).
The journey of an entrepreneur is not a straight path. It is a fluctuating network of possibilities with endless detours and every imaginable destination. Although the team was not successful in their first endeavor, they adapted and reformed their company to best use their skills and knowledge for their clients. The company trourist may have failed, but today Breaking Molds is successful and growing. Who knows what will happen next? The possibilities are endless; you just have to break the mold.
Arrondo, M. C. (2013). Trourist Case: In search of a business model. San Sebastian, Spain: University of Deusto.
Breaking Molds. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.breakingmolds.com/es
trourist. (2009, December 1). Awards and Recognition we’ve earned. Retrieved from Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/7919206
trourist. (2009, September 16). ExperienceLess. Retrieved from Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/6608291
trourist. (n.d.). Facebook. Retrieved from trourist: https://www.facebook.com/trourist/