ASCC Business students create original products
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — As the spring 2019 semester concluded, students in the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) Business class Principles of Marketing (MKT 195) introduced an array of products and original brands, created using mostly or all natural resources from on-island. As a semester project, the MKT 195 students were required to create an original marketable product which had to include at least one local ingredient.
The resulting products ranged from popsicles made of local fruit to a skin-care oil, an unusually flavored Samoan panikeke, soothing “bath bombs” and more.
MKT 195 gives students a general overview of the field of marketing, including price, product placement, and promotion of consumer goods. It covers marketing strategies, channels of distribution, retailing, research, product promotion, and consumer attitudes as they relate to marketing. The course examines how marketing involves more than just advertising, retailing, or selling, and actually encompasses a myriad of concepts, techniques, and activities all directed toward distribution of goods and services to chosen consumer segments.
As part of the course work, instructor Lam Yuen Jr. assigned each class member to create his/her own original product along with a plan on how to market it. Results introduced and sampled last week included the “Epsicle Pop”, a popsicle conceived by Epifania Petelo which contains locally grown mango and pineapple.
Pauline Filisi introduced Betty’s Banana Jam, based on a family recipe that transforms Samoa’s most abundant fruit into a preserve. Josiah Siliva provided samples of his original athletic smoothie, a combination of high-protein powder and local fruits, and detailed his marketing concept of setting up booths in local gyms where the smoothies will be made on the spot.
To complete the menu of edible products, Tinei Ripine let everyone try one of her special Samoan panikeke, made using a recipe that substitutes an unusual flavor in place of sugar.
Although many of the products fell into the food category, some students took their creativity in other directions. Kalameli Viki debuted her Cogen Beauty Oil, made with ingredients that include local aloe, and she explained how regular application has been proven to heal stretch marks.
Rejoyce Saega showcased her version of the coconut leaf hat, which she envisions as both a novelty for visitors as well as an aid to locals on days when the sunshine gets too uncomfortable. Osana Esekia introduced a product she calls “bath bombs,” a combination of local scents and modern chemistry designed to turn a tub bath into a treat of aroma and sensation.
As each student shared his/her original product and marketing concept, a panel including instructor Lam Yuen, fellow Business Department faculty member Ioapo Taua’i and ASCC librarian Elvis Zodiacal provided feedback. This included a moment of levity when a member of the panel advised Esekia that she might want to consider an alternative product name other than “bath bombs” because this might create difficulties for visitors who purchase the product and then take flights where they need to declare “bath bombs” on their customs form.
“Any mention of the word ‘bomb’ on a customs form could cause complications,” explained the panel member. Overall, the panel offered supportive advice and encouraged the students to continue pursuing their marketing concepts.
The variety of products created, along with the quality of the packaging and presentation, reflected an equal measure of keen observation and personal interest on the students’ part as they envisioned goods that could fill a gap or satisfy a need in the local marketplace.
“It’s impressive to see these creations and originality from our own students”, declared Taua’i. The general consensus among the students was that MKT 195 had served them well. “We’re so glad we took this course,” one of them commented. “We learned the process of creating a product, then more importantly, how to go about presenting it to potential customers.”
For more information on Business courses at the College, see the ASCC Catalog, accessible online at www.amsamoa.edu.