By Lacie Blankenship
The 3-week Accelerator®—Summer Business Immersion certificate program at Vanderbilt Business provides an opportunity for college students and recent graduates to get real-world consulting experience through projects. As part of their project work this year, students presented growth strategies for Daily Crunch, an award-winning nut snack.
The Client: Daily Crunch, a women-owned, Nashville-based brand, is a superfood-infused, sprouted nut snack that comes in 6 flavors and is keto, non-GMO certified, Vegan, and Paleo. The brand supports mental health efforts and is one of the first nut companies to source from bee-certified and sustainable farms.
The Project: Teams were tasked with strategizing ways to grow Daily Crunch’s customer base and bridge the gap between happy samplers and loyal, repeat customers. Students were provided customer purchasing data to inspire deliverables, including social media and email marketing strategies.
The Presentations: Teams had 10 minutes to pitch their ideas to members of the Daily Crunch team, which included M’Kenzie Steel (MBA’21), Head of Marketing and Brand Strategy. Each presentation included a carefully thought-out slide deck to help attendees visualize the deliverables.
The students pitched a variety of ideas, from social media campaigns to QR codes and field events like festivals. Some pitches centered around graphs and charts, while other teams took a storytelling approach. Each presentation concluded with a question and answer segment where the Daily Crunch team could seek clarification on any outstanding notions.
“Daily Crunch was my favorite Accelerator project, because they gave us creative freedom to increase touch points with the customer,” one student said.
“The Daily Crunch project had real-life implications and we made a real difference for the company,” another noted.
The Winner: The Daily Crunch team awarded first place to Team E, consisting of Eesha Narain, Madison Murray, Nicholas Noland, Will Coburn, William Lyon, and William Myers. Team E designed a positioning strategy to reach an audience that prioritizes health and wellness. They pitched the idea of podcast advertising and workout class visits to interact with this targeted audience.
The Feedback: The Daily Crunch team worked with Accelerator® students for nearly a week and was impressed with their diligence and eagerness to problem-solve. The day of presentations concluded with a constructive feedback segment and awards ceremony.
“Working with Accelerator was such a great experience, especially since Daily Crunch is a Nashville-based start-up,” says Steel. “As a Vanderbilt MBA alumna, it was not only an amazing experience seeing these students learn from my past professors, but also brainstorming with those professors on how to guide these students in the right direction.”
“Our whole team was able to come to the final presentations and were ecstatic about all the ideas,” says Steel. “Since the program, we have integrated multiple ideas from the presentations into our overall strategic decisions.”
The early application deadline to participate in the Summer 2023 Accelerator® is December 5.