Past Project Descriptions

Associated Foods

Associated Foods began in 1940 with 34 members, each a local grocer hoping to better compete against the larger chain stores entering the market. Today Associated Foods has over 600 members in 8 state; however, the goal remains the same: helping local, independent grocers compete against larger chain stores.

In 2010 and 2011 Associated Foods hired our students to help them understand the changing world of social media and how they could use these emerging technologies to improve customer trial and retention. The 2010 class helped Associated Foods understand how their typical customers used social media, what types they preferred, and how they would respond to a social media campaign by their grocery store.

The 2011 group built on this research to design a potential smart phone "app" to help shoppers enhance their experiences at Associated Foods member stores. The team created an effective design process and checklist for Associated Foods to use in creating and implementing this app.

KSL Media Properties

KSL-TV broadcast its first signal from Salt Lake City on 01 June 1949. In the ensuing 60+ years the station became the dominant television broadcaster in its home market. The increasing development of the internet has provided the company with both challenges and opportunities. Internet radio and streaming video continues to change the revenue model for all forms of media as advertising budgets are increasingly moving away from broadcast media toward more directed outlets. On the other hand, the internet has allowed KSL to become a global brand.

KSL engaged a group of our students to help them better understand compensation programs for their sales force. With so many different media types (TV, Radio, Websites, affiliated properties), KSL needed to insure that its compensation system focused the sales staff on creating the most value mix of revenue from existing and new customers. The students provided a deep dive in compensation principles and helped the station redesign its contingent compensation (commission) structure to provide more focus on the most valuable mix of products and services for customers. began in 1998 as the father/son combination of Bruno Vassel III and IV decided to open an internet boating business. continues to thrive in its market area, experiencing double- digit revenue and profit growth in 2010. The challenge for lay in continuing the growth and development of their services division where boat retailers and enthusiasts could sell equipment to each other. worked with our strategy students to solve this problem. The student team went into the marketplace to identify customer needs and understand's perceived status in the marketplace. Based on this research, the team helped iboats develop a strategy to improve their visibility, perception, and customer outreach among its target audiences.

Madsen Cycles

Madsen cycles is truly a one-man shop. Jared Madsen sells his unique brand of heavy-duty delivery bicycles through a nationwide dealer network and over the web. As the business grew Jared noticed that his market contained retailers, buyers for personal use, and delivery companies who recognized the business value of his unique design. With his sales increasing but his markets dividing into two identifiable segments (consumer and industrial buyers), Madsen needed help targeting both his products and marketing to each segment.

A student team performed personal interviews and exhaustive secondary research to help Madsen understand the unique characteristics of each market, including key areas of perceived value for his bicycles. The group provided Jared with a detailed action plan for refining his messages for each key market to maximize value and potential sales to each channel. The team's work made an immediate impact for Madsen as the company re-launched their website in a way that spoke to each customer segment.


MotoSat, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, produces satellite reception antenna for television and internet uses. MotoSat's products add value to home users, corporate communications needs, and public safety and defense related secure networks. The challenge for MotoSat involved the product development process; its existing process took too long, cost too much, and the company wondered if it resulted in really outstanding products.

Motosat hired a team of strategy students to improve product development. The students began with an extensive field study project that mapped the current development process in fine detail. Based on a clear understanding of the current process, the team then worked with company management to identify a desired end-state and set of goals for product development. The team completed the assignment by helping the company understand ways they could redesign the process to improve the products coming out at the end and speed up the process to meet timely market needs.