Interpretive Challenge Fall 2021

Congratulations to Dr. Daniel Coleman at Schreiner University for his winning entry into our Interpretive Challenge!
And congratulations also to the recipients of the $1000 (split between members of the team) for being the winning team for Dr. Coleman’s class!

Dr. Dan Coleman, Noah Boggus, Paolina  Sada Nieto, Parker Jensen, Greyson McMurray, Hannah Sullivan

Noah Boggus

After competing in the New Shoes simulation, I learned so many new concepts that I will forever hold onto. New Shoes simulation is an online-only simulation that helps one essentially run their own business in the shoe marketplace. Although it isn’t crazy in-depth, it presents really good concepts and information. Throughout New Shoes, one has to focus on advertising, product development, contract bids, and much more. It starts off with both home and domestic markets but then opens an optional third option to also put one’s product in the foreign market as well. For the home and domestic market, it is important to have a competitive price that makes one’s product stand out from the rest in order to gain sales. The simulation highlights the importance of customer satisfaction, and overall net profit made during decision periods. Within the foreign market, it is okay to raise the price quite a bit, because overall a higher price in that market doesn’t typically justify sales. Advertising is a key piece all around because if the product isn’t getting its name out there it is going to have a lower chance of having higher sales. Product development is also very essential because people are not going to buy a cheap product for a high price. All of these concepts and many more are essential to think about during each and every decision, and if done correctly, one can see the astonishing results made through sales!

Throughout my experience with New Shoes, the lecture on integrated marketing went hand in hand with the simulation. Dr. Coleman explained the importance of product development, advertising, and much more that all play an essential part in one’s business or company. New Shoes definitely correlated with most of what we discussed as a class, and the experience was incredible. Dr. Coleman discussed the promotional piece, and it greatly applied to the simulation. For each and every group, everyone had an option to create a logo and advertisement that would help get the product out there for the public. Every single piece of an advertisement throughout the simulation helped play a key role in sales. Product development was also key, and throughout both the lecture and simulation I learned how important it is to have a well-made product at a competitive price. The last thing you want is angry customers, so keeping customer satisfaction at the forehand is very important as well. Both the lecture and simulation went hand in hand and helped further my knowledge in marketing greatly!

I learned so many things through my New Shoes experience that I am going to hold tight to me as I get closer and closer to working in the real world each and every day. New Shoes really opened my eyes to the importance of every aspect of a business, specifically the marketing side. Every single concept bounces off of each other, so if one thing is lacking it is going to affect everything else. New Shoes was a valuable experience, and I am glad I had the opportunity to take part in it!

Parker Jensen

The new shoes simulation was extremely valuable to me, I personally learned so much from it and I gained a greater understanding of how many marketing concepts work when applied to a real world type situation. For example I learned that pricing can fluctuate throughout the different markets, so it does not stay the same for each, and that product development is a hauge factor due to how costumers want efficient and reliable products, also how advertising can have more of an impact in the home market rather than the foreign market, and how one should analyze the various markets that they plan to go into in order to be more successful within them. That is what we did, we researched and planned out our strategies and this led us to be very successful and arguably the most consistent team. This is another strong characteristic that I took away from this simulation, teamwork is very important and when working together it can lead to more success. Each decision we made a profit and in the end we came in second place just barley. The new shoes simulation taught me so much and im happy I was able to do something like it because now I can apply these same concepts that I learned later on in the real world when I may need them.

I did find a article that is related to this topic and it is by and it goes over the importance of doing business simulations, I wanted to find out more on this topic and what benefits may arise from it. This article was very resourceful in that way and it really opened my eyes as to why doing these simulations can be so helpful. It discussed how when one does a simulation such as the one we did with new shoes than it can help prepare you for working for a company, it helps teach you important corporational aspects and support you for future issues that you may run into. Another thing the article mentioned was that doing these simulations also helps with ones career evaluation, when one does this than it opens their eyes to what they will potentially experience within the real world and this may deter some from choosing this specific career path, this is good because knowing what you want to do sooner rather than later is very valuable and it will allow you to better prepare yourself for your future and i return you will achieve greater success at the career you do choose.

In my opinion I really enjoyed doing the new shoes simulation and I believe that i learned and got a lot out of it, personally this is not the first business simulation that I have done, back in highschool I did an online simulation where it focused on the stock market and we had to invest a certain amount of money and the winner was the person who made the most profit at the end of the period. In my opinion I think that business simulations are very important and one can gain a large amount of resourceful knowledge just by doing one, I think that schools should implement them more frequently in order to better support their students in these various ways I have stated above.

Greyson McMurray

The NewShoes simulation was a fun game. In our first round we placed 5th and it was disheartening after reading and highlighting the important aspects of the game in the manual. Getting around the simulation and getting to know its function took more time that I anticipated, but simple enough to figure it out quickly enough to play a competitive role. The beginning strategy was to always maintain the maximum product development investment of 2M because we felt it was important to always have a quality product to stay ahead of our competitors. We maintained that investment throughout the 10 decisions. Also, branding our shoe through the creative link was important as well, not only because the dashboard signaled whenever we had a new feature of the shoe but to keep advertisement fresh and as a constant reminder that our brand existed to obtain loyalty among customers. People get bored quickly so offering new versions, ads, colors, designs can keep the consumers stimulated and up to date on trends. We first kept the guidelines of the manual close to our decisions when we began, these were the recommendations of not exceeding a certain amount of expenses in consumer promotion/advertising/dealer promo within a decision period. This guideline helped us start somewhere in the game since the previous decisions before we acquired the company were still in the negative for profit.

Slowly we moved up by rank every decision. We focused on our returns and our expenses trying to increase profit within a reasonable investment. We inspected the COGS calculator frequently but always ascertained that the price would end up being more than what was posted, and we were right. as we moved towards the half of the game after entering the foreign market, price of the shoes became even more important regarding our competitors. I think we did exceptionally well when we entered the foreign market because we assumed students probably forgot the $750K fee to enter it and did not figure that in with their expenses. We held most of the market share in the foreign market and our prices we initially determined by the descriptions outlined in the manual of what each market preferred and their characteristics. When market research became available for purchase we did not immediately invest so we could catch up on our net profit. Instead, we continued to calculate our expenses in comparison with our price/gross estimated sales so we would not end up in the negative. We also studied the results of each decision and estimated our competitors pricing based on their sales of quantity and net profit. Every time we had a new version especially towards the end, we wanted to promote that through small increments of expenses because we noticed the more we sold the more money it took…..It takes money to make money. Ultimately, the last four decisions we started to invest in marketing research, but we maintained our spending costs by supplementing with our estimated predictions of our competitors.

We ranked #1 five times out of 10 decisions and our profit keep increasing and creeping towards our #1 competitor. We monitored the habits of our competitors and how they priced their shoes with market research and then made our decisions accordingly predicting their next move. We would track our progress with quantities sold in response to the changes we made in marketing expenses, sometimes by percentage. We gambled a couple of times by decreasing the price of our shoes almost $5 after we were humbled in decision #7 but it never knocked us down far enough to lose profit or go below the profit we made the decision before due to our spending management. I also noticed that pricing at the .99 was more effective than whole numbers as customers elude to a dollar price difference because if it. That is how gasoline is priced and customers will pump somewhere else if it “appears” less expensive so we embraced that tactic for the shoe pricing. The graphs were a quick overview of what our team was doing in comparison to our competitors so it kept us inline with what we needed to do to reach our goals, but it was informational in the means that had any delegation in our decisions. We did a lot of calculations and estimations and spoke about different outcomes with those different calculations which helped us explore the options to choose the optimal decision. I believe this is what led us to our success in the game because of each decision being unique to each team, predictions are a very important strategy. Predictions also in response to our team and what we thought others might do since they could buy market research on us! So, we did change a few things to trip up our competitors so they could not find a pattern/habit of what we were doing in our decisions!

Paolina Sada Nieto

The value of this simulation is about understanding that the marketing plan is a process and its all about numbers and skills. As well the importance to think always long term for the businesses and understanding the importance of collaboration of teamwork for a business. New Shoes simulation is to put the four P’s into action and compete in the market with your classmates. The value upholds the true significance of the marketing process and what it is to run a business in a competing market. When going through the simulation I had to collaborate with my group designing a marketing plan, use basic research, decision making, and understand financial implications.

Dealing with the home, domestic, and foreign markets was pretty interesting. Learning about the different needs that each market needed was important to understand. Knowing it would affect our customer satisfaction and our sales. Having to do research about what was needed for each market was very important. Learning about how each region had a different shoe price was the first step to knowing how we could play all the markets. Concepts we learned were consumer advertising, consumer sales promotions, sales force, and dealer promotions. At first it was hard to understand but as we had more data to analyze and look at previous outcomes for each indivividal market. Being knowledgeable of the problems and opportunities we were facing through information was what took a lot of our time. Based off that we as a group would make conclusions based on the ranks and bids of our competition to make financial decisions. As we made our decisions we always came to an agreement as a group before the deadline. Our business was always eager to see new results and understand our next decision.

As a business it was important to make decisions carefully. We were constantly reviewing and analyzing the market trying to comprehend what was hurting us or bumping us up in order to know how to make the next decision.

Hannah Sullivan

The New Shoes simulation taught a new way to view marketing. I was not aware of all of the aspects that go into creating a shoe and selling it in the home, domestic, and foreign markets. We were able to manipulate the prices depending on what the market preferred, such as the foreign market, where the customers did not care about high prices, so we were able to charge a few dollars extra for the foreign market shoes. The most valuable tools that my team used within the simulation were the marketing research in order to determine what our top competitors were pricing their shoes at. A strategy that we used was to calculate our lowest possible earnings for each decision. We utilized the cost of goods calculator to determine what we would pay at base price, multiplied it by our units, and added our expenses to find our total expenses. We then subtracted that from our lowest unit sales multiplied by our chosen price. This ensured that we were not spending too much on our marketing and expenses, and that we were still able to gain a profit.

One source that I utilized throughout my New Shoes journey, was the analysis and decision summary from Temple MIS. At the start of this simulation, I did not know how each category factored into each market. This summary of the decisions allowed me to view how each price change affected the business, either negatively or positively, and grasp the concepts of the marketing decisions. Overall, NewShoes provided a great amount of insight into what the marketing business entails. Between our decisions and the Temple decision summary, it shows that each decision is truly unique, even between classes.

Interpretive Challenge

We launched The Interpretive Challenge campaign to select one professor who would have an opportunity to win a $1000 scholarship for a winning team in their class.

We created The Interpretive Challenge Scholarship in hope to support students in their academic achievements. Our goal is to provide an exciting and realistic learning environment, and by doing so also encourage students to excel.

The winner of The Interpretive Challenge for Fall 2021 was Dr. Dan Coleman at the Schreiner University. Professor Coleman used our NewShoes simulation in his marketing class this Fall 2021 semester.

Our next Interpretive Challenge will be for Spring 2022 semester!

Stay tuned for details!