EMU students take first and third places in Kohl's Marketing Challenge at regional American Marketing Association conference

Eastern students excel in devising recommendations for customer loyalty program

by Geoff Larcom, Published November 11, 2013

YPSILANTI – You and your colleagues are responsible for studying the customer loyalty program of Kohl’s and its competitors, and then offering advice for improvement. What do you recommend?

Teams of Eastern Michigan University students recently earned top honors in responding to that challenge in a marketing competition at a conference attended by about 300 students.


From left, EMU's first place team of Darcie Cordes, Rafael Kronenberg and Jannell Whitted.

Two teams from the EMU College of Business won first and third at the Kohl’s Marketing Challenge at the 6th annual American Marketing Association regional conference, held at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Oct. 24-25.  The conference involved registrants from 20 universities, and an additional 10-12 schools viewed the presentations via a live video feed. 

Nine EMU College of Business marketing majors attended the event, along with their faculty advisor, David Marold, a professor of marketing at Eastern.

The team of Rafael Kronenberg, of Ann Arbor; Darcie Cordes, of South Lyon; and Jannell Whitted of Ypsilanti won first place and $500 in the Kohl’s Challenge.

Finishing in third and winning $200 was the team of Leigh Sutter, of Whitmore Lake; Ryan McFarland, of South Lyon; Tyler Connell, of Chelsea; and Katherine Chapman of Saline.

Also attending the conference for EMU was Sarah Bayles, of Manitou Beach, MI, and Lindsey Gothard, of South Lyon.

“I am very proud of the (American Marketing Association) students,” Marold said. “They represented EMU extremely well, looking and acting very professional, and their marketing papers and presentations reflected insight and effort.”

The teams of students first submitted a two-page strategic plan, and then the top five teams selected did a ten-minute presentation on their recommendations at the conference.

Participating schools included Ferris State, North Carolina State University and Northern Illinois University.

The recommendations of Eastern’s first place team included expanding the rewards program to all of Kohl’s locations, extending an additional 15 percent discount to shoppers who enroll in the program at the store and revamping the Kohls Rewards website to appeal to a broader audience.



Geoff Larcom



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