More than Frozen Breakfast Food

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As a part of our Applied Market Research Class, we listen to a number of speakers in the industry to get some insight into what jobs might be like in this field. Professor Gary Gaeth goes out of his way to find alumni who are passionate about what they do and often have very interesting stories to share.

This past Thursday, February 21, we had the pleasure of listening to Brian Uhlmann speak. Mr. Uhlmann has worked in a number of different companies perfecting his researching skills and most recently has found a home at Van’s Natural Foods. As a part of the presentation, we were walked through the process of how Van’s has gone about identifying and launching a number of new products to diversify their offerings. Van’s, most known for their gluten free frozen waffles, wants to be more than just frozen breakfast food. They want to bring healthy, good tasting foods to the masses. Brian shared with us their vision and passion for the market and some strategies as to how they might reach their goals.

My biggest take away from this talk was just how passionate Brian was about his product. Gluten free food might not seem immediately exciting to the everyday person, but through Brian’s eyes, the product and strategy took on an energy that we did not expect. I think it is this ability to believe 100% in a product that really sets apart the great marketers. Uhlmann shared with us that he had been somewhat of a health food junkie for some time and it was one of the reasons he took his current position.

It goes to show that working on what excites you not only makes the work more fun, but better as well.

 

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John Carter

About John Carter

John is a first year MBA candidate at the Tippie School of Management with a focus in Marketing. He has worked as a medical consultant for a major surgical equipment manufacturer as well as working as CMO for a mobile SaaS start up. John has a BA in Marketing and Management Sciences from the University of Iowa and plans to work in brand management after completing his degree.