Brand management case competition challenged student teams from some of the nation's top business schools.

Repeating last year's performance, the Carlson School team took second place at the Elite Eight Brand Management Case Competition, held November 3 to 5 at the school. For taking second place, team members Eric Rasmussen, Amy Moore, Daniela Voysey Olson, Andrew Leinfelder, and Ben Klassen will split a $5,000 prize.

Taking home first place and $10,000 was a team from the Ross School of Business. The Hass School of Business, which won the competition in 2010, came in third this year. Other competing schools were the Kellogg School of Management, the Kelley School of Business, the Anderson School of Management, the Wharton MBA Program, and the Fuqua School of Business.

For the competition, the teams are presented with a strategic brand management challenge and given 30 hours to prepare a structured case analysis and recommendations. The findings are then presented to a panel of expert judges who then critically assess the students' brand management, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. This year's brand challenge was how to make Bisquick relevant to millennial consumers.

"It was an opportunity to work with a fantastic team on a current real-world branding challenge," says Leinfelder about taking part in the competition. "I was excited to work with the team due to the diversity of functional expertise and professional experience."
Leinfelder noted that three of the Carlson School's Enterprise programs, Ventures, Brand, and Consulting, were represented through members on his team. "It was interesting to see how each team member approached the issue given their Enterprise experience," he says.

Teammate Olson says the greatest challenge with the competition is time. "The biggest struggle for us was completing the scope of the case within the short window of time," she says. "To put it in perspective, what we did in 30 hours I would normally do over the course of four months when I was working at General Mills."

However, with hard work and strong focus, the team persevered. "We made some of our biggest progress late in the competition," Leinfelder says. "It was great to see the story really come together. I am proud of the team and the result that we achieved. The competition was very challenging and sometimes stressful, however it was a great opportunity to learn from classmates, further develop critical thinking skills, and represent Carlson."