HHL full-time Master Student Gian Zinngrebe K

Marketing Award 2021 Goes to Master Student Gian Zinngrebe

by Nicole Bruehl | November 30, 2021
Each year the Academic Marketing Association e.V. honors one student with the Marketing Award. Students with outstanding achievements in the field of marketing - both in school and in practice - receive a prize worth 500€. This year marked the 14th award and was presented to Gian Zinngrebe.

Academic Marketing Association e.V. honors Gian Zinngrebe with the Marketing Award

On 25 October 2021, the Academic Marketing Association e.V.  awarded the Marketing Award for the 14th time. The association comprises all current and former doctoral students of Prof. Dr. Kirchgeorg and the Chair of Marketing Management and Sustainability. Every year, an HHL student is selected for the Marketing Award, who has outstanding achievements in the field of marketing. Current graduating students can apply for the award and submit evidence of their academic achievements and extracurricular activities related to marketing as well as a motivation letter. A call for applications is sent directly to the graduating classes by the Academic Marketing Association.

Marketing Award honors outstanding achievements related to marketing

This year, Gian Zinngrebe was able to prevail over his competitors with a strong application, extensive extracurricular activities and a very convincing motivation letter. He was presented with a prize worth €500. 250€ of the prize money was presented in the form of an eBook voucher, which was once again sponsored by Springer Gabler Verlag. The association would like to express its sincere thanks to Ms. Roscher from Springer Gabler Verlag, who has been supporting the Marketing Award for a long time.

Marketing Award Ceremony

Marketing Award Ceremony 2021

From top left to bottom right: Alexander Kolano, Nicole Bruehl, Oliver Klante, Gian Zinngrebe and Anna Heszler.

Interview with Gian Zinngrebe

The award ceremony took place virtually via Zoom. The interview was conducted by the Academic Marketing Association board members Alexander Kolano,Oliver Klante, Gian Zinngrebe, Anna Heszler and research associate at the Chair of Marketing Management and Sustainability Nicole Bruehl.

Gian, how did HHL and especially the Marketing Chair influence you in your work and career?

What I learned at HHL, in particular, is that the big picture should not be ignored. Even when dealing with specific economic issues. I always tried to question which positive, but perhaps also negative effects very concrete initiatives or entrepreneurial activities can have on the entire organization, but also on society.

The same is actually true for me with the topic of marketing. Especially through the lecture with Professor Kirchgeorg, I now associate the topic of innovation very strongly with marketing. But also the topic of sustainability, which for me are ultimately the two most important success factors for business models. Accordingly, I have tried to further my professional education in precisely these two topics through various internships, but also individual projects, and to gain initial relevant experience in practice. I think that I am well prepared for the future and that my path will take me in this direction.

Academic Marketing Association e.V. Read more

Founded on February 4th, 2006 in Germany as a non-profit association, the “Akademische Marketinggesellschaft” (Academic Marketing Association) was established by a group of current and former doctoral students of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. The main aims of the association are to promote science, research, and education at HHL’s Chair of Marketing Management and Sustainability and to intensify the exchange of experience between entrepreneurial marketing practice and marketing science.

The “Akademische Marketinggesellschaft” is a platform for professional, scholarly, and personal exchange of current and former postgraduates in Marketing Management and Sustainability at HHL as well as associated persons and organizations. Many of its members are nowadays top executives in well-known companies, senior consultants or partners in the top 5 consultancies, CEOs in their own companies, or professors at German universities.

How do you plan to use your prize money?

I actually already have a good use for both, the prize money and the book voucher. I am currently working on a start-up idea with my fellow student Max, and it is called SWIFE. We are working on a digital platform for marketing events and leisure activities. The core of the idea is a mobile app with which private users receive data-driven suggestions for organizing their leisure time based on their personal interests.

On the other hand, the providers of corresponding leisure activities also benefit from a more specific target group approach, but also from marketing analytics. This is not yet possible to the same extent with previous solutions. The idea originally came from the experience that we ourselves were often on the road in foreign cities and did not know what to do with friends in the evening, for example. We also noticed that especially smaller venues and smaller events are often not really picked up by our own radar.

We hope to help small businesses in particular, but also freelancers from the arts and culture scene, who unfortunately have not had an easy gaining visibility, especially in the last two years due to the pandemic. Since I am now also responsible for marketing our project, I can use the prize quite well. On the one hand to buy one or two specialist books, but on the other hand also to cover some running costs.

When can you expect to go live with SWIFE?

That is a good question. We are currently planning to go live at the beginning of next year. Additionally, we will be testing a small beta version in advance.

You intern at HHL’s DIGITAL SPACE. Did this influence you in your founding? What did you take away from the internship at DIGITAL SPACE?

Actually, the idea did not come to me there. Perhaps as background information: I was an intern there when the Digital Space was still in its infancy, so to speak, and was allowed to participate in the development of the content of the start-up incubation program.

There were two concepts that were particularly recommended to the start-up teams: the first was customer-centricity. What that means is to always focus on the problems and needs of the customer in all decisions you make. Through the whole start-up project but also beyond. The second point is hypothesis-based work. I think many people have ideas, but at the end of the day, an idea is really just a construct of personal assumptions that need to be validated, especially at such an early stage.

I think these are the two points we try to remind ourselves of every day. I am glad that I have found a good companion in Max, my co-founder, who has also internalized these two concepts well. Now we are also participants in the DIGITAL SPACE program, which we hope will give us the necessary push for the future.

Then we all wish you all the best, of course, and we would be very happy to be beta users.

Thank you again and I look forward to adding four more users to our list or beta users!