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Major Module VI - Business Projects

“Reactivation of the established brand Cesar® in the German market in cooperation with Mars Petcare

Business Project I - Seminar (14266.0007)

Instructor: Thomas Scholdra, Werner Reinartz

Date, Time and Location: see Klips 


see Klips -> "Prüfungstermine und Anmeldung"


Course Description:

Background information: M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, EXTRA®, WHISKAS®, PEDIGREE® und UNCLE BEN'S®, ORBIT®, SKITTLES® – almost everyone knows these brands. With more than $35 billion in annual sales and more than a century of history the family-owned business Mars is making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love.
Mars Petcare is a diverse and growing business with 85,000 Associates across 50+ countries dedicated to one purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. Its portfolio of almost 50 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of almost half of the world’s pets – including brands like PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, ROYAL CANIN®, NUTRO™, SHEBA®, CESAR® as well as The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition which has advanced research in the nutrition and health of pets for over 50 years. Mars Petcare is also a leading veterinary health provider through a network of over 2,000 pet hospitals.
Fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) such as pet care products pose an interesting challenge as, on the one hand, they are purchased frequently and, therefore, marketing activities can quickly and directly influence consumers’ purchase decisions. On the other hand, FMCG purchases are highly habitualized, meaning that customers do not waste much time on thinking about which brand to choose but rather pick the one they usually buy. These opposing forces working on consumers create unique challenges for Mars Petcare’s marketing managers in determining ways to push existing and introduce new brands.
The task: As a team of consultants to Mars Petcare’s marketing managers, your task will be the following: 
You will work on a reactivation of the well established brand Cesar® in the German market. You will analyze existing brand perceptions and identify brand challenges. Furthermore, you will provide an analysis of the relevant target group (actual vs. aspirational) and its media behavior (i.e., consumer journey). Based on the respective findings, you will develop a strategic messaging framework and a concrete media and activation plan.

What is a Business Project?

In a business project, students work on current managerial topics in close cooperation with a company representative. The goal is to apply scientific theories and methods on the issues at hand and based on this to derive concrete recommendations.

Students learn to utilize knowledge and skills gained during their studies, to manage a project, and to work in close cooperation with a company. Furthermore, presentation skills and team work are honed.

Execution of a Business Project

Each student is assigned to a group of 3-5 persons working together as a team. The groupings are disclosed during the kickoff of the course. Students are expected to self-reliantly organize their project work and analyze secondary data and market studies as well as conduct empirical research (e.g. surveys, focus groups, expert interviews, …). The students have the opportunity to receive feedback from their tutor(s) as well as from a business advisor.

After approximately half of the editing time has elapsed, students will hold a mid-term presentation. This presentation is not graded but offers an opportunity to receive in-depth feedback from tutors and fellow students.

At the end of the editing time, students will hand in a written project report and a final presentation. The course concludes with each team presenting their research results in front of representatives of the co-operating company, tutors, and fellow students.

The project report should have a length of 25-50 pages. The presentation consists of a 30min presentation and 15min discussion. Both final presentation and project report are part of the final grade. Details on formal requirements and grading will be discussed during the kick-off.


The examination consists of a report and a presentation. Please keep in mind that you need to register for the examination within the corresponding registration period. It is NOT possible to register after the registration period. Note that no responsibility is taken for the correctness of the information. Please refer to the Examination Office for all examination-related questions.

Zum Bestehen der Veranstaltung muss ein Report angefertigt und eine Präsentation gehalten werden. Bitte beachten Sie, dass Sie sich nur innerhalb der vorgegebenen Fristen für die Prüfung anmelden können. Es ist NICHT möglich, sich nach Ablauf der Frist nachträglich anzumelden. Es wird keine Verantwortung für die Richtigkeit der Informationen übernommen. Bitte informieren Sie sich beim  Prüfungsamt über alle klausurbedingten Fragen.

Criteria for course credits:

  • Presence at all course dates
  • Active participation in the group work
  • Handing in a project report (25-50 pages)
  • Handing in and presenting a mid-term and final presentation (30 minutes presentation, 15 minutes discussion)
  • Active participation in the discussions


24.04.2020, 14.00 - 15.30 Uhr  Kickoff (Wiso-Faculty new building, Sibille-Hartmann-Str. 2-8, seminarroom 4.301, 4th floor)
14.05.2020 noon Hand in mid-term presentation (via email to
15.05.2020 11.00 - 14.00 Uhr Mid-term presentation (Wiso-Faculty new building, Sibille-Hartmann-Str. 2-8, seminarroom -1.502)
25.06.2020 noon Hand in final presentation (via email to
26.06.2020 11.00 - 14.00 Uhr final presentation (Wiso-Faculty new building, Bernard-Feilchenfeldstr., seminarroom 6.207)
July, 31st 2020, noon Hand in project report (via email to
Please note: 
Kick-off and mid-term presentations will take place at the University of Cologne lecture rooms. The final presentations will either take place at the University of Cologne lecture rooms or the Mars Petcare Germany offices in Verden.  Therefore, please make sure also to take into account the potential time needed for traveling. Traveling expenses in this case (train ticket for 2nd class or petrol allowance) will be covered by Mars Petcare. The location of the final presentations will be announced as soon as possible.