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29 March 2017

CityU MBA collaborates with Imperial College for Leicester Square Hotel project

Experiential learning has been an essential component of the CityU MBA programme. This year, a group of 40 participants led by Professor Kevin Chiang, MBA Director, had a remarkable journey with Imperial College Business School and the Edwardian Hotels in London for the 10-day residential Global Brand Management Workshop in March 2017. With the theme of “Convergence of Innovations in Technology, Design and Marketing for Global Brand Management”, participants had invaluable opportunities to learn from the Imperial College Faculty and reach out to the Edwardian Hotels, a luxury hospitality hotel group with a very British flavour and unique branding strategy.

Learn from world-class faculty and business thought leaders
Comprising strong team of faculty and industry experts having rich experience in branding and marketing, Dr. Omar Merlo, Professor of Marketing at Imperial College and Fellow at Cambridge University Judge Business School, kick-started the programme with a warm welcome to our participants and delivered great lectures on the fundamental ideas of branding and digital marketing. Prof. Andreas Eisingerich, Professor of Marketing and Full-Time MBA Programme Director then discussed Brand Leveraging with the class, followed by sharing of Mr. Konstantin Theile, Founding Marketing Director of the Swatch Group on his practical experience in building a strong global brand.

Contribute to the Leicester Square Hotel of the Edwardian Group
Building brand equity and attracting customers from China and Hong Kong for the new 350-bedroom hotel and a cinema complex in Leicester Square London were the challenges given to our participants. This hotel project case allowed our participants to translate their learning into actions. After the directors of the hotel’s commercial development, creative, marketing and digital strategies department shared the company history and their strategies with the class, participants divided into teams to meet the hotel senior management team at different Edwardian hotels (i.e. The May Fair Hotel, Radisson Blu Edwardian London, etc.) to further understand the operations of the hotels and conducted market research and interviews on the streets of London to understand customer needs. With a series of discussions on ways to tackle the challenges posed by the Edwardian management team, participants put their research findings, marketing strategies and thoughts together and presented it at the end of the programme.

Visit the construction site and experience London
Watching the construction site to imagine how the new hotel would look like at the Leicester Square, participants were excited about the architectural and design features of the new hotel. The visit incorporated with an interesting treasure hunt for participants to discover and experience London. These experiences provided solid ground for the participants to communicate the uniqueness of the new hotel effectively to the future clients in the project works.

Immerse in Innovation of Design and Technology
Learning design concepts through the ImpactLab™ at the Royal College of Art and experiencing the performance simulator at the Royal College of Music allowed participants to transform their original ideas into real prototype-based business propositions and evaluate their stress level under risk and uncertain environment respectively. After the training workshop, participants learned more about the thinking process and the relations of stress and reactions for improvements of the presentation performance.

A Quest to Conquer Global Brand Equity Building
After this 10-day intensive programme, the participants presented their final proposals to the panel comprised of the hotel management, industry experts and Imperial College faculty on the last day of the trip. The panelists were impressed with our participants’ findings and gave valuable feedback to each team.

This unparalleled experience of building a real global brand have given our participants the opportunity to reach out to the global audiences and challenge themselves to operate outside of their own perceived comfort zones.