Haaga-Helia University marketing students’ Creative Agency Krea provides company clients with customer research, strategic and creative concept design, and inspirational storytelling for events, campaigns, products, services, and brands. At Krea, students design creative branding solutions based on data-driven customer insight.
Krea students assume an entrepreneurial mindset and work in self-directed teams, taking responsibility for their project results. Seasoned coaches advise and support students in their project-based learning. The shared goal of students, coaches, and client companies is to create purposeful customer experiences, build brands, and drive sales.
During the academic year 2019-2020, Creative Agency Krea was engaged in 23 client projects, involving 35 companies.
Customer research brings customer insight
The creative planning process at Creative Agency Krea begins with customer research and analytics. With the help of empathy maps, customer personas and customer journey maps, students gain insight into the end customer’s needs and wants. Background research helps students understand the business of the client company and design creative solutions that resonate in the target audience.
Our customer research services include quantitative surveys, focus group discussions, interviews, mystery shopping projects, web analytics, and data visualization in the form of infographics, personas and journey maps. In 2019-2020, we carried out brand surveys, employer image surveys, customer satisfaction surveys, reader panels, and various types of content testing on the web and social media channels.
For the second year in a row, Krea students were involved in promoting on the Instagram the annual Helsinki Winner dog show organized by the Finnish Kennel Club. The project began by analyzing existing marketing data and visualizing customer personas. The performance of the Instagram posts and stories was monitored with the help of Instagram statistics. Running continuous experiments on social media channels help both students and company clients understand audience preferences and learn what to post, in what format, where and when.
Strategic and creative concept design makes marketing more powerful
Using agile design models and tools, Krea student teams plan attractive and inspirational marketing concepts for events, campaigns, and brands. A well-designed concept crystallizes the value proposition offered to clients. Based on research and analytics, students formulate customer-focused strategic messages, objectives, and visuals for their concepts. Powerful concepts boost content creation, as they bring together marketing messages across multiple channels to fulfill a shared strategic and creative purpose.
As part of Marketing Finland’s annual AdProfit Junior competition for young designers, Krea student teams innovated employer branding concepts for textile service company Lindström. Business Finland gave us a truly international concept design challenge: to create a campaign concept for promoting Finnish education excellence in the upcoming Expo world fair in Dubai.
Omnichannel storytelling connects brands with their audiences
Inspirational storytelling on multiple channels is an effective way to attract the audience’s attention in today’s crowded media environment. Storytelling draws audiences to spend time with brands whose values are in line with their own. To help customers find stories that are relevant to their needs, the content must be search engine optimized and delivered on channels where the audience spends time.
Based on data-driven customer insight and concept design, Krea student teams produce content in Finnish or in English in all their company projects. We create copy text, images, graphics, videos, AR and VR content, posters, flyers, magazine and blog articles, layouts and logos. In addition, we offer event activities and event management services, both online and offline.
We planned new content concepts and produced articles for The Finnish Sauna Society’s Sauna magazine. We also created a series of blog articles about Haaga-Helia and Krea alumni students working at various marketing and media agencies of the Finnish marketing communications group Salomaa. Video content was produced in several campaign projects. Using the Finnish educational gaming platform Seppo, we also created a digital learning game of international marketing together with four company partners.
Collaborative learning with strategic networks in Finland and abroad
Creative Agency Krea developed its networks with European partner universities by means of collaborative RDI projects. Fast-paced developments in internationalization and digitalization require that individuals, teams, and organizations become competent in autonomous and agile learning. Together with five European universities, we are developing online resources, models and tools for the autonomous learning of international marketing and communication.
Corporate representatives from our strategic partner companies Salomaa, Sanoma and Routa help us plan and monitor the research, design, and testing of autonomous learning tools aimed for corporate use. To train university students for autonomous learning and multicultural team collaboration, we develop our Krea Spring School international week focused on customer experience and storytelling with a network of more than 10 European universities.
Read more about our international activities:
• Creative Agency Krea RDI project on autonomous learning
• Creative Agency Krea in English
Text: Tanja Vesala-Varttala, Principal Lecturer in Marketing and Communication
Photo: Samuel Kauppinen, Krea student