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MBAs impacting the future of North Carolina

By Christine Ferrell

Three teams comprised of NC State Jenkins MBA students and alumni are among ten finalist teams in the Brand NC Project. Commissioned by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Office of the Governor, the Brand NC case competition aims to create a new brand identity for the state of North Carolina, crafted by North Carolinians.

The author of this post is Scott Barnes, Jenkins MBA student, Class of 2014. He wrote the following post about his experience working on the project team. The Brand NC finals will be held on April 12th at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and will include a free lunch and live music. Guests are welcome to register with Brand NC and attend to support the competitors. The winning team will receive $5000 and the second place team will win $1000.

Early on, we really struggled to come up with a slogan.  We spent hours discussing potential slogans, we created surveys in Qualtrics and submitted those on discussion boards, and we had a number of “that’s the one!” moments before moving on to another idea.

With only a few days in the competition remaining, we had our last Eureka! moment and we’re all confident that we ended up with the right slogan. Jared took charge of film production. He checked out a video camera from the D.H. Hill library and was a great coach to get us more comfortable in front of the lens. We did the filming on the Sunday before submissions were due and we had to move from one library study room to the next as we overran our reserved time slots. Ultimately, filming concluded in Nelson Hall. Kurleen was really the star of the video, looking incredibly polished and professional. She also eased our nerves with a little comic relief and we have some outtakes that I’m sure we’ll have to revisit, down-the-road, whenever we need our spirits lifted.

On the evening after filming and into the early morning of submission day, Leah raced to piece together the video and she did a terrific job! It seemed an impossible feat to put it all together in time, but she was able to get it done and submitted to the Brand NC committee with a few minutes to spare. It was really remarkable.

We really had a blast working together and talking about all the things we love about North Carolina. I’m a relatively new resident in North Carolina but I’ve been visiting family and vacationing in the State all my life and I really love it here.  I know my team members feel as deeply about this home of ours as I do and I know that passion and affection for this place was reflected in our Brand NC submission.

When we present in person during the finals we hope that the Brand NC judges agree with us that North Carolina is “Where Goodness Grows,” because that’s the slogan that we ended on. It’s integrative and broadly applicable. It’s positive, honest, and it works to represent all the different promises, positions, and personalities of North Carolina’s regional sub-brands. It sums up our perceptions of this state. It is a state that produces great things and a great state in which to grow – a person, a business, an idea.

Great things can happen in North Carolina. It’s a place where opportunity is abundant and achievement is attainable. “Where Goodness Grows” offers a promise that is reflected in NC State’s “think and do” ethos. Like NC State, we want to invite others to partake in the great things happening in this North Carolina. We want to entice top talent to come here to pursue their dreams because this is a place that supports dreams. It’s a place where goodness grows.

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