The Baxters talent Programme is a MSc Scholarship on offer to students on our MSc in Business Strategy, Leadership and Change, MSc in International Marketing Management and MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

Students on this Scholarship received full payment of their postgraduate fees, as well as all travel costs associated with visiting Baxters premises and accommodation costs when undertaking projects at Baxter locations.

The successful applicants for 2016/17 Baxters Scholarship were Akshita Bajpal, Craig Imrie and Lisa Balestrieri, who have all now completed their summer internships. Lisa Balestrieri has written the following blog post about her experience with Baxters in the Marketing team.

“At Baxters, employees regularly meet for team meetings to discuss how the business is currently performing.” I was delighted to be invited to attend several of these through-out my internship.”

Lisa Balestrieri

Lisa was fortunate enough to work with Baxters during the Royal Highland Show – The Royal Highland Show is an annual event held in Ingleston, Edinburgh; which brings together the rural community of Scotland for a showcase event of Scotland’s rural community. As Baxter’s are a strong global Scottish brand, this event is almost a homecoming for them!

Royal Highland Show

Baxters and Highland Show

“I participated at this year’s Royal Highland Show and helped at Baxters’ stall. We organised tastings of different products and Darren, Baxters’ Chef, made cooking demonstrations. Also, our job was to collect feedback from customers, in order to gain a deeper insight into how shoppers perceive the brand. During a team meeting that followed the week after, I then had to make recommendations on how to improve Baxters’ performance at this popular show next year.”Baxters and Highland Show

“The feedback we received from the event suggested that Baxters is a well-known brand with a loyal customer base and the products had a great success. Nevertheless, there is a clear need to drive awareness, as a lot of consumers had never seen Baxters’ new ranges before or did not know how to use them. Hence, it is necessary to increase the company’s popularity again by stressing out its superior quality and local ingredients.”

Brand Health Research

At Baxters, I had the chance to participate at a qualitative study which involved a focus group of real consumers, who were asked different questions about their conception of soup and their perception of the Baxters brand versus the other competitors on the marketplace.

"The Marketing team and I sat in another room and where separated from the focus group by a glass window. We could see and hear the conversations of the consumers, while they could neither see nor hear us."

Lisa Balestrieri

Baxters food

This research allowed me to gain a deeper insight into how consumers perceive Baxters: in general, it is perceived as a well-established brand, which nevertheless has to modernize and adapt to changes in consumer behaviour. These findings will allow us to implement marketing strategies, which will build on the company’s heritage, and to introduce new concepts that are more in line with current consumer trends.

New Packaging formats

Baxters food

It’s an exciting time to start working at Baxters, as some critical decisions about the business’ future are being made.

Amongst them is the one regarding the next packaging format for soups. In fact, canned products, such as Baxters’ soups, have seen a dramatic decrease in sale and fail to attract younger consumers. The marketing team is currently working on finding a new packaging format for soups, that will satisfy consumers’ needs and tap into the current convenience trend.

I went on supermarket trips with members of the marketing team, during which we analysed where the single products are situated in the supermarket, what kind of consumers (e.g. young vs older) visit the different supermarket aisles and what packaging formats are the most popular ones. This is a very interesting and useful exercise that helps us to align our marketing decisions to the present trends.

Visit at the Mediacom agency

During a visit of Baxters media agency, interesting suggestions about which communication strategy to adopt in order to reach different consumer segments.

Lisa met with and played an active part in discissuions with the mediabuyer MediaCom. 

Lisa obviously found her Internship and Scholarship at Baxters incredibly useful – as did our other two participants. Heriot-Watt is delighted to be able to work with a Scottish company as positive as this, providing our students the opportunity to learn and put their theory into practice in a real time environment; whilst offering the organisation vibrant and proactive students!

Find out more about Scholarships here

Find out more about MSc Business Strategy, Leadership and Change

Find out more about MSc International Marketing Management

Find out more about MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management