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A sweet finish for CSU marketing students

Students from the Cleveland State University chapter of the American Marketing Association took third place in the 2013-2014 AMA Collegiate Case Competition.

Their assignment? Devise a strategic marketing plan to relaunch Hershey’s Take 5 candy bar.

After conducting extensive research, the CSU students identified two target markets: women aged 18-24 and women aged 25-34. The team developed a positioning strategy and value proposition for Take 5 as the sweet and salty snack with a pretzel crunch that you reach for as a treat to brighten your mood, to reward yourself for a job well done or as a holdover until your next meal.

A new tagline – “Take a moment. Take 5.” – provided a foundation for the campaign, refined over the course of eight months.

CSU was a Top 10 finalist in the competition, which drew nearly 100 entries. Team CSU made its pitch in April at the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, in front of a tough judging panel of Hershey’s executives.

CSU’s third-place finish improves upon the honorable mention that the University received in the 2012-2013 Case Competition.

Kim Ruggeri and Michael Wachter, marketing instructors at CSU’s Monte Ahuja College of Business, led the team as co-advisors.

“This is a testament to the intelligence, creativity and drive of our student competitors,” Wachter said. “I continue to be awestruck by them.”

Congratulations to CSU team members Adam Bollinger, Michelle Coon, Kristen DeSantis, Chris Grzelewski, Michael Jugler, Matt Kulik, Heather Machles, Jonathan Mason, Kevin Metz, Snjezana Selak and Gina Stem.