Recap: Trend Event 2024

  • Recap: Trend Event 2024

    Marketing & Branding Committee

    During a cold, icy, and snowy day in Rotterdam, the turnout for the 2024 Trend Event was incredible. Held in one of the Netherlands’ most sustainable university buildings, the Langeveld Building, it was fitting given this year’s theme of “The Green Wave, Shaping Sustainable Marketing”! Students at the event had the opportunity to hear many insightful presentations from professors and companies about how sustainability influences marketing. 

    Introduction to sustainability

    To kick off the event, two assistant professors at RSM, Antonia Krefeld-Schwalb and Sebastian Gabel, presented. Antonia specialized in consumer psychology, and Sebastian in machine learning solutions. They shared insights from their research on encouraging more sustainable behavior on campus through the consumption of vegan foods. During their research, they highlighted a key challenge: implementing a one-size-fits-all approach. For instance, many students and professors are not being incentivized through messaging and are instead more motivated through (monetary) rewards. 

    The research used a machine learning approach with ChatGPT-4 to determine the optimal interventions to incentivize students to eat more vegan lunches. They identified 14 clusters, ranging from reward-motivated people to educational reminders. Ultimately, they developed the website, allowing students to complete surveys and collect points for free products. Try it out for yourself by pressing the link! 

    Insights of sustainability efforts at Rabobank

    D. Paul Schuilwerve, the former Rabobank CEO in China and India, presented the second presentation. He first covered the meaning of sustainability and how it impacts firms that incorporate it in their daily operations. For instance, the reputational benefits and risk mitigation. Moreover, he applied his meaning of sustainability to how it impacted the operations at Rabobank. Whilst one might not assume banks have any responsibilities when it comes to sustainability, Rabobank shared the measures they are taking to incentivize sustainable behavior. For instance, Mr. Schuilwerve shared the concept of the True Value of Food (TVoF) and how Rabobank is supporting the agricultural industry. Press the link if you are interested in learning more about the TVoF:

    Insights of sustainability efforts at HelloPrint

    The third presentation was presented by Elyne (Sustainability Intern) and Marlous Spaven (Head of Marketing). HelloPrint (or Drukzo in the Netherlands) is a printing company actively seeking ways to revolutionize the not-so-sustainable printing industry. For instance, they aim to reduce their absolute carbon footprint by 15% in 2025. HelloPrint released the “Give Back Tuesday” campaign to meet this target. A campaign which encouraged buyers to buy their eco-friendly products and donate 5% of revenue to buyers’ preferred charity. Ultimately, HelloPrint donated over €4500 to the Pink Ribbon charity. Despite the positive reaction from clients and increased spending, HelloPrint realized that the sale of their eco-friendly products did not improve... the presenters left the audience with the question: Why do you think that clients did not purchase the eco-friendly products despite supporting the initiative?

    Insights of sustainability efforts at Coty

    Luciana Vilar Denardi, the Sustainable transformation leader at Coty, gave the fourth presentation of the event. Coty is a beauty company and the largest fragrance manufacturer in the world. They manufacture many well-known fragrances, such as Gucci and Chloe. Sustainability has played a pivotal role in shaping Coty’s day-to-day business. For instance, in 2020, they launched a sustainability framework encompassing everything Coty can do differently for the planet, products, and people for a better world. 

    Firstly, for the planet, Coty aims to protect the climate by following targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). One of those is aiming to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030. With Coty’s rigorous efforts, they achieved an 82% reduction already. Secondly, for its products, Coty realized it could use carbon-captured alcohol for its fragrances and launched the first fragrance (“Where My Heart Beats Eau de Parfum” from Gucci) using this breakthrough. Moreover, Coty has already implemented refill solutions and gained cruelty-free approval for many brands. Finally, for the people, Coty has committed to gender balance throughout the organization. The presentation was a great example of a company implementing sustainability throughout its entire value chain.

    Insights of sustainability efforts at Ochama

    The final presentation was by Jason Zeng, who represented Ochama. Ochama is the Netherlands’ first (strictly) online retailer, which sells a broad selection of products, from food to non-food. Ochama leverages existing technological and logistical capabilities from (the parent company founded in Beijing in 1998). Ochama has an exciting business model, as shoppers purchase products online and pick up their orders in one of Ochama’s many pick-up locations.

    Regarding sustainability, Ochama has made use of its technological advances by engraving them into daily operations for a more productive and sustainable world. For instance, using paperless receipts and less packaging, since customers pick up their orders, there is no need for large paper boxes. Given the unique business model, Ochama can offer customers discounted products, as they have lower costs. Additionally, as Ochama’s is experiencing exponential growth, they are actively looking for new talent to join them in their new Rotterdam office (for more information: 

    Final comments

    The event ended with a networking drink, where students got to socialize with the visiting companies! Overall, the 2024 Trend Event was a great success! We want to thank all the presenters for their insightful discussions of how sustainability impacts marketing in their day-to-day, as well as the Trend Event Committee for organizing this great event!


    In case you missed this event, check out MAEUR’s socials and event page to track the upcoming events for the academic year that you do not want to miss!