Bridgestone South Africa

Bridgestone Gives University of Pretoria Students On-the-Job Experience

Sep 18, 2018

The unemployment rate in South Africa for both youth and adults is high, with the unemployment rate at 38,2% among young people aged 15–34. This is according to Statistics South Africa, and implies that more than one in every three young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2018.

Graduates coming into the job market struggle to find employment due to a lack of proper experience. In a concerted effort to fill this important need, Bridgestone partnered with the University of Pretoria in forming a project module to stimulate on-the-job experience.

The Integrated Practical Project Module

For the third consecutive year, the University of Pretoria partnered with tyre manufacturer, Bridgestone South Africa to meet this need. The Integrated Practical Project (BEM 356) module provided final year Marketing Management students with a year-long challenge giving students the upper edge going into the job market when they graduate.

The project gives students practical experience by working on a real marketing problem, and most importantly, it prepares them for the work environment. The project  came into effect with a launch day on 17 April 2018.

The Aim of the Project

The Integrated Practical Project module entails three deliverables that the third-year Marketing Management students complete. The aim is to solve a marketing problem identified by Bridgestone every year.

The first deliverable is to obtain a better understanding of tyre consumers’ perceptions of tyre fitment centres by gathering data using an online questionnaire. The data gathered was carefully analysed to acquire tyre consumers’ purchasing behaviour and perceptions of tyre fitment centres, and more specifically their perceptions of Supa Quick. Utilising the data at hand, students identified Supa Quick’s main competitors, possible market segments that Supa Quick can target, and Supa Quick’s value proposition.

The second deliverable built upon the first by proposing positioning strategies based on the fitment centre’s value proposition and providing an outline of the intended brand communication plan.

The final (and examination) deliverable showcased the student teams’ full brand communication plans, complete with creative concepts and examples of communication messages.

“The aim of the project this year was to investigate consumers’ perceptions of tyre fitment centres in Gauteng, and based on this insight, develop a brand communication plan to increase the awareness of Bridgestone’s Supa Quick fitment centres,” says Supa Quick’s brand manager Desirée Van Niekerk.

The student teams kick-started the module by implementing a Supa Quick social media campaign. Students were supplied with several Supa Quick-related images and were tasked to select one image, develop a tag line, and share it on their Facebook and Instagram profiles, with a goal to obtain as many shares and likes as possible within a 24-hour period.

This activity challenged students to think like marketers and how best to use social media to generate spontaneous support for their brand.

Awards Ceremony

The University of Pretoria and Bridgestone recognised the dedication and commitment of the students to the project. Their hard work was recognised in an awards ceremony was held at the University’s Hatfield campus in Pretoria on the 13th of September, which saw them receiving prizes and recognition of their journey into becoming marketers.

The students were rewarded for showcasing their innovative brand communication plans for the Supa Quick fitment centre, Bridgestone’s subsidiary business.

“This project provides our students with an excellent opportunity to exercise their marketing skills in a safe environment. They are challenged to apply their theoretical learning to a real marketing problem and to solve it using creative and strategically sound ideas. We are and will remain very grateful to Bridgestone for partnering with us and investing into our students,” says Dr Tania Maree, Senior lecturer, Department of Marketing Management and Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences University of Pretoria.

Bridgestone South Africa

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