Successful IfM Project Seminar in Cooperation With Tchibo GmbH

As every summer semester, the Chair of Marketing Management (IfM) offered a project seminar in cooperation with a well-known company also in 2021. Together with this year´s partner, Tchibo’s Coffee Marketing division, 25 Marketing major students had the opportunity to participate. Five current and relevant topics around “Exploring the Future of Coffee – How Tchibo Will Strengthen its Leading Position in Coffee” invited the students to connect both, scientific methodologies and marketing-related practical skills in a practice-oriented project.

In April, the seminar was initiated with an online kick-off meeting via Zoom in which Prof. Dr. Manfred Krafft offered a workshop on How to Write an Empirical Paper to convey relevant scientific knowledge on managing the upcoming practical tasks. At the beginning of May, the Tchibo Team around Anne Scholl, Director Marketing Roasted Coffee, introduced the audience to the company and presented the diverse marketing challenges they invited the students to provide solutions for. Subsequently, the groups met their respective supervisors in individual breakout sessions to clarify immediate questions and discuss initial thoughts on the assigned topic.

Being already familiar with online semesters, all groups adjusted rapidly to work together in the digital realm, for example planning to conduct focus groups via Zoom. Similarly, the students regularly scheduled alignment meetings via Zoom with their respective Tchibo supervisors and the accompanying IfM research assistants, Nicole Moch, M.Sc. and Dipl.-Kffr. Janina Wiebringhaus, who mentored the students of this seminar. During the virtual interim presentations end of May, in which the students gave a brief update and an outlook on their project plans, Tchibo shared some very interesting insights on how to manage the future of coffee in a sustainable manner.

Everyone would have loved to meet in person for the final presentations mid of July, however the COVID regulations still only allowed another digital meeting. However, this did not harm the outcome: IfM members and the Tchibo advisors appreciated the high quality of all presentations: “All groups created highly relevant benefits for our brands. It is impressive to see how quickly the students became experts in formerly unknown areas and developed a strong feeling for our diverse coffee brands and respective target groups. We are very happy to see their high-class analyses and the creative output of the study results”, Anne Scholl summarized. Closing the final presentation day, a Q&A session with the Tchibo HR team was integrated to inform about career opportunities at Tchibo GmbH.

To conclude, this year’s project seminar can be acknowledged as a real success, as motivation and engagement drove the spirit of the seminar. The Master student Alexandra Graushaus acknowledges: "What distinguishes the Marketing Center in Münster is, that they have numerous cooperations with well-known companies. This summer semester we had the opportunity to participate in a project seminar with Tchibo GmbH, working on different business topics concerning their coffee division. Not only did we further strengthen our teamworking skills by intensively working on the topics in groups but we also got a feeling of what it means to be assigned the responsibility to solve an actual business problem. Thus, throughout the seminar we improved our social and practical but also our scientific skills, as we were expected to work according to scientific standards. The seminar was a great mix of research, analysis and creative work and we are very thankful for the Chair of Marketing Management for supporting us during the process as well as Tchibo for the support and for showing such high appreciation of our work. We would have loved to visit the headquarter in Hamburg for the final presentation, however, are still very happy with the digital organization."

Anne Scholl, Marketing Director Roasted Coffee (left) and Lea Essing, Trainee Sustainability Coffee – both WWU Marketing alumni – fully supported the idea of a first-time cooperation with the Chair of Marketing Management.

Prof. Dr. Manfred Krafft welcomed the students and the Tchibo team via Zoom for the presentations.