Creative Industries Network: Student Consultancy Projects

Collaborative consultancy projects funded by BIG South London

As part of the BIG South London's Creative Industries Network, a number of SMEs that participated were selected to work with Kingston University students on collaborative consultancy projects funded by BIG South London.

The initiative was designed to help business owners achieve growth and optimise innovation by tapping into the skills of students, and give students an opportunity to work with a client on a live brief whilst adding to their creative portfolio.

One of the supervising academics, Xavier Sole, Senior Lecturer in Digital Advertising, said:

"These valuable partnerships have enabled Kingston University to foster stronger connection with industry professionals, allowing us to enhance the relevance and scope of our courses. This direct exposure to industry practices complements academic learning and emphasises the importance of real-world experience."

In total, nine projects were funded, with three described below:

Limetrack >

Red Global MX >

Collective Arts Group >

Limetrack: your waste, our future

Limetrack

London-based SME Limetrack is a food waste technology company, offering smart food waste bins, collection and data analytics, enabling customers to monitor and reduce their food waste, positively impacting on green sustainability.

Limetrack needed a short animated video that would encapsulate its ethos and the benefits of its service, with the objective of generating new customers. Through a recruitment process, undergraduate Illustration Animation students, Eve Penny and Lorena Sanjurjo Pfitzmann were selected, who were drawn to the project because of its positive environmental credentials. Eve and Lorena's creative concept focused on a circular theme representing Limetrack's objectives of circularity achieved by recycling and renewal.

Under the supervision of Stephen Brown, Senior Lecturer in Illustration Animation, the students developed a concept, script and storyboard in the first month of the project, with a second month taken for the animation and editing process. Throughout the project, Limetrack were able to review and feed back on each element of the students' work.

The resulting concept and video is eye-catching and colourful, and successfully and succinctly conveys the messaging from Limetrack's original brief – the video acts as a useful, visual marketing tool to attract new customers. Eve and Lorena's experience of working on a creative project with a client, from initial concept right through to final delivery, has provided them with valuable insight and expanded their knowledge of working with industry.

Red Global MX

Red Global MX is a not-for-profit professional network that aims to foster cooperation between Mexico and the UK. It needed a student consultant to develop a marketing campaign for Mexican creatives living in the UK with the objective of increasing network membership and engagement. Valentina Martinez Kongcharoen, an undergraduate student in Creative and Cultural Industries: Design Marketing, was successful in the student consultant recruitment process. Under the supervision of Xavier Sole, Senior Lecturer in Digital Advertising, Valentina consulted with the business, meeting regularly to review progress, successfully integrating into the team in the process.

Over the course of the project, Valentina was able to fully meet the brief she had been set. She successfully delivered market research on the Mexican population living in the UK, designed a targeted marketing campaign to reach and engage people, and proposed future engagement activities to increase the network's impact.

During the project, Valentina was exposed to a variety of business and marketing strategies. She was able to develop her research skills, expand her network and collaborate with different stakeholders. Red Global MX benefited by working with a student with a fresh outlook and new perspectives – Valentina challenged their current approach to communications, suggesting innovative ways of working. Valentina has since been asked to implement the campaign she proposed, and secured a part-time job in collaboration with Google, who Omar, Executive Director of Global Red MX also works for.

Omar Saenz, Executive Director of Global Red MX said:

"Our collaboration with Valentina achieved its intended purpose and we appreciate the level of commitment and creativity she brought to our organisation."

Collective Arts Group

The Collective Arts Group offers unique, online workshops for expectant and new mothers that combine art therapy and positive psychology to help navigate anxieties that can arise during pregnancy. They wanted a student to create a two-minute animated film that would increase the visibility of their program and encourage employers to feature it in their employee wellbeing strategy.

The Collective Arts Group partnered with Alina Torbina, a student in Creative and Cultural Industries: Art Direction, who was keen to work with a business striving to make a positive impact on mental health.

The collaboration was a positive learning experience for both the business and student consultant. Alina was able to experience the process of conceptualising, designing and delivering a creative project, honing her practical skills and negotiating challenges in handling a client's project.

The Collective Arts Group now has an engaging, animated film and voice-over providing an effective visual tool for communicating their message to prospective clients. The film is also helping to broaden their target market from individuals to corporate clients.

Julia Ruppert, Founder of The Collective Arts Group said:

"The academics were supportive of their students but left space for the project to unfold. With Alina's creativity at the helm, we co-created a vision that evolved and grew. We are delighted with the video created by Alina, which should result in growth for our business."