May 2015

Students are challenged to market historic coffin works

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Marketing students were challenged to come up with creative ways of boosting business at the historic Birmingham coffin works. 

Representatives from the Birmingham Conservation Trust and Newman Brothers Coffin Works attended the event at McIntyre House to run the rule over the postgraduates’ innovative ideas. 

Newman Brothers, in Fleet Street, is the Jewellery Quarter’s newest heritage attraction and is looking for new initiatives to increase visitor numbers. Visitors get the opportunity to take a step back in time and experience the factory as it would have been during its heyday.

The students, from UCB’s Marketing Management with Events, Hospitality and Tourism MA, came up with a diverse range of ideas, such as marketing the factory as a “night museum” and hosting murder mysteries; promoting a more immersive and nostalgic experience of the history of the site; and looking at targeting new demographics and offering new services. 

“Our group implemented a marketing strategy that had an educational focus,” said Melissa Payne, part of a student marketing team whose concept was to make the Coffin Works a fun and educational place for schoolchildren and families. “We developed new marketing tools and a range of activities that could be executed with little or no budget. 

“Coffin Works surveys show that they have very few children of primary school age visiting, so marketing specifically for parents and schoolteachers and offering child-friendly services means that they can reach an entirely new population demographic.” 

Dr Suzanne Carter was impressed by many of the communication ideas exhibited by our students. She particularly liked the idea of holding events at the Coffin Works as this could not only help to boost business but also expand the attraction’s market.

Sian Williams, Business and Marketing lecturer at UCB

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