Capstone – Project

Industry Benchmarking Analysis

A Collaboration Between

Engagement Synopsis

CommonBond offers undergraduate student loans. The market for college student loans is massive, but concentrated among entrenched players. As a newer entrant, CommonBond needs to build trust & credibility with parents & students and find innovative & efficient marketing channels to message. The undergraduate loan is a co-signed product, which means that a student needs an eligible co-signer to apply with them (and essentially ÔÇ£vouchÔÇØ for the student that theyÔÇÖll cover the loan if the student canÔÇÖt pay). This makes the consumer journey more complexÔÇöfrom education to final purchase, there are two distinct audiences and then two ÔÇ£actorsÔÇØ within the loan application.

This project will require thorough research on the company’s target demographics (college-bound high school students & their parents). They expect that the team will help them compare the company’s brand and product with the rest of the providers in the industry. Additionally, they will be able to go through CommonBondÔÇÖs undergraduate cosign application and provide analysis of user experience, design, ease of use, product options, etc. They can compare that experience to the experience with other competitive applications. TheyÔÇÖre ultimately looking for recommendations when it comes to future tools/ educational information that CommonBond could include as part of their loan application experience.

Students who enroll in this course will:

  • Experience what itÔÇÖs like to work at a growth-stage fintech startup
  • Offer strategic recommendations that could help drive the business this year
  • Gain experience evaluating and designing a strategy for a tech startup competing against entrenched players
  • Get feedback and learn from working with experienced founders, product leads, and marketers┬á

Prerequisites:

  • Understanding of core dynamics of financial products & student loans (i.e. interest rate, APR, deferment, etc.)
  • Background in marketing an eCommerce business (i.e. funnel analytics, conversion metrics, targeting/retargeting, SEO/SEM)
  • Key Classes/Frameworks: MBA Core Curriculum – Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Strategy & SWOT analysis
  • MBA Concentrations preferred: Marketing, Analytics, Strategy
  • Ability to synthesize data from diverse sources into a coherent story & translate into actionable recommendation.

PLEASE NOTE: Participants will be required to sign a non-disclosure project agreement regarding the handling of confidential information and intellectual property.

Logistics: This ÔÇ£IntertermÔÇØ Immersion will be based in New York, NY. Students will need to secure transportation and lodging on their own. Additional details on travel can be found under ÔÇ£Travel Reimbursement DetailsÔÇØ at the front of this document.┬á

Company Information

CompanyCommonBond
HQNew York
RevenueUnlisted
Employees100-500
StagePre-Revenue Startup
Hiring PotentialFollow-on Projects, Formal Internship, Entry Level Full-Time, Upper Level Full-Time
Websitehttps://www.commonbond.co/

Company Overview

The company offers new loans to current students, refinance loans to college graduates, and a suite of student loan repayment benefits to employees through its CommonBond for BusinessÔäó program. By designing a better student loan experience that combines advanced technology with competitive rates and award-winning customer service, CommonBond has funded over $2 billion in loans for its tens of thousands of members. CommonBond is also the first and only finance company with a "one-for-one" social mission: for every loan it funds, CommonBond also funds the education of a child in need, through its partnership with Pencils of Promise.

Industry Mentors

There are currently no supervisors assigned.

Course Info & Engagement Details

SchoolMasters in Business Administration (MBA)
Engagement Format -
CourseMBA IMMERSE Interterm (SPRING 2019)
LevelGraduate
Students Enrolled120 Enrolled, 4-5 per group per project
Meeting Day & Time3/2 - 3/5/2019 on-site at host company
Student Time Commitment1-3 Hours Per Week
Company Time Commitment3-5 Hours
Duration0.43 Weeks

Project Topics

Academic Mentors

There are currently no supervisors assigned.

Assigned Students

There are currently no students assigned.

Program Timeline

Touchpoints & Assignments Due Date Submission

Key Milestones & Project Process

  • March 2, 2020 - Industry Marketing Benchmarking Analysis

    • CONSUMER: Do thorough research on the company’s target demographics (college-bound high schoolers & their parents) 
    • BRAND/MARKETING: Compare the company’s brand and product with the rest of the providers in the industry. Pay close attention to how other companies are marketing their products and positioning the brands. Identify key areas and analyze/compare company marketing performance to competitors.
    • UX/DESIGN: Go through CommonBond undergraduate cosign application and provide analysis of user experience, design, ease of use, product options, etc. Compare to other competitive application experiences. Provide recommendations for changes or future tools/ educational information that CommonBond could include as part of their loan application experience.

    Suggested Deliverable:

    PPT deck, and Word doc of recommendations

  • March 3, 2020 - Marketing Strategy Development

    • Examine the company’s past marketing strategies. What worked? What did not? How would you showcase progress over time?
    • Learn more about the customer’s perception of the company’s brand, product, and services.
    • Propose 2-3 digital, experiential, or social, marketing strategies for the company to consider. Asses cost, reach, mediums, and any other components needed for a full understanding of this investment.
    • How will you measure the effectiveness (ROI)? Select one and develop a road-map or prepare to launch (depending on company resources and timing)?

    Suggested Deliverable:

    PPT deck, and Word doc of recommendations

  • March 5, 2020 - Final Presentation

    CommonBond is looking for a comprehensive overview of the work that was done. Prepare a presentation and paper that provides an overview of the process that was used and the results that were ultimately generated.


    Suggested Deliverable:

     

Project Resources

There are no resources currently available