Liam Newton, former vice-president of marketing at Carslberg
Newton aced the simulation section of the Mini MBA on Brand Management, driving the share price of fictional tech brand Moon from 100 to 229 over a five-year period.
“Anyone can grow a brand in the short term through price and promotion; great brand management is about making your overall proposition more appealing so that you attract more consumers, or convince existing ones to buy you more often,” he says, adding that in his early career he was told constantly that marketers are merely the custodians of brands.
Despite extensive experience in marketing Newton says he took a lot of lessons from the course, including half a dozen things he immediately put into practice.
“I think the biggest overall lesson was affirmation of the importance of diagnosis and strategy. There is such a focus on tactics today – ‘tactification’ as Mark Ritson calls it – that brand strategy is becoming a bit of a dying art. The course was also very good at reinforcing the importance of not over-complicating your strategy and I agree with that wholeheartedly. My mantra is always to strive for ‘elegant simplicity’,” he says.
Given his success at it, it will come as no surprise that Newton’s favourite module of the course was the simulator, because it incorporated learnings from all of the other modules.
Meanwhile he says the most enjoyable aspect was the weekly lectures from Mark Ritson. “There can be a lot of bullshit in the world of marketing and Mark cuts right through all that, which is so refreshing. The great thing about the modules is that Mark brings the subject matter to life with real world examples from his brand consultancy work. This means the content is practical, with proven success to back it up, rather than just conceptual,” says Newton.
Take your skills to the next level with the Mini MBA in Brand Management. The next course, which is run by professor and Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson, starts on 20 April. The Mini MBA in Marketing course begins on 13 April. Visit the Mini MBA website for more information and to book your place.