Led by Marketing Professor Nadia Shuayto, LAU students descended on New York for a weeklong course titled Â“Special Topics in Marketing." Pairing the theory of marketing with practice, the course combined classroom discussions with tailored field visits to select companies in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The course kicked off with the WindowsWear Fashion Window Walking Tour, where students learned about marketing in the fashion industry, the importance of window dressing and how to catch the eye of some nine million New Yorkers and millions more tourists. A visit to MacyÂ’s flagship department store offered an inside look at retail marketing and merchandising industry secrets in one of the worldÂ’s most storied retail giants.
The program also featured a tour of Rakaa Chocolate factory in Brooklyn where students learned about green marketing Â— including ethical sourcing and packaging Â— and got a taste test, too.
Â“Marketing isnÂ’t just for tangible products and services, I wanted them to learn that even cities have a marketing department,Â” said Shuayto. To that end, with the help of LAU NY Academic Executive Director Lina Beydoun, she organized a trip to NYC & Company, NYC's official marketing and tourism agency, where students learned about how the city used marketing to bounce back from a tourism decline after the September 11 terror attacks.
But the tour and lecture at J. Walter Thomson (JWT), one of the worldÂ’s leading international advertising agencies, was the favorite of most students. There, they learned about standardization versus customization strategies of marketing around the world. Global President of Retail for JWT Claire Capeci explained how MacyÂ’s success over it 150 year history was largely due to an innovative, multi-platform marketing and advertising scheme.
According to Shuayto, Â“Students were surprised to gain access to such high level executives, but they asked very relevant questions and I was really proud of them. I think the companies were very pleasantly surprised as well.Â”
CEO of WindowsWear, Jon Harari, visited LAU's NYC campus later in the week to give a guest lecture.
Course participant Ibrahim Bayloun, an incoming senior and marketing major, marveled at the complexity of working in a media market like New York City.
Â“Because of the huge scale of the city, the strategies you use to get in peopleÂ’s minds are more complicated,Â” he said. Â“There are lots of different cultures, races, backgrounds to factor in, whereas in Lebanon, you can come up with one strategy that will work for (most of) the country.Â”
As documented in the TV hit series Â“Mad Men,Â” New York was Â— and is still Â— the center of the advertising industry, holding 20 percent of U.S. employment and 14 percent of American revenue in the field.