MBA in practice: Movember

30 Nov
Men with moustaches

Men with moustaches

Over November nearly 50 of us in the MBA class have been participating in Movember – raising money for prostate cancer research through sponsorship for growing some awful moustaches for the whole month.

It all started with a conversation in the bar, “would you grow a moustache?” Of course I would – and I would do it for charity too!

This allowed me to put a few things I’ve learnt on the MBA in to practice:

Strategy – not needed when you have a bunch of guys who have suddenly been given an excuse to release the inner Magnum, PI. Just point them at the right URL and they will sign up.

Marketing (Roger’s 5 Forces of Moustache Diffusion):

  • Relative advantage: having a moustache is better than not having a moustache.
  • Compatibility: having a moustache is very compatible with being a man (a real man that is).
  • Complexity: it is not very difficult to grow a moustache (for men at least).
  • Triability: you can experiment with growing a moustache, or try a fake moustache for the day to see if it will suit you.
  • Observability: the moustache is located in a very observable place.

The star/early adopter effect: get James Taylor to join in and anything is possible.

Economics:

  • Supply = demand is good. I ordered 132 fake moustaches so everyone could join in on “Moustache Day” last week and to my surprise, we sold all but 4 of them. This was partly due to the above “James Taylor effect”.
  • Price discrimination: fake moustaches were sold at a “suggested minimum donation” of £2. This allowed consumers to decide how much to donate. I think the top donation was £10 for a moustache.
  • Monopoly pricing – I was the only moustache supplier at SBS last week so I set the prices, which allowed me to extract maximum consumer surplus and make a profit margin of about 1000% (it’s ok – it was for charity!!).

Finance:

  • I had a portfolio of moustaches for sale. Portfolios of moustaches are good.
  • Finance professors like wearing fake moustaches, especially when beer is involved.

Financial reporting: I hereby report that we sold £263 of fake moustaches last week. I also wrote this on a bit of paper, and wrote -£263 next to it. I’m not sure why I did this, but it balanced.

Decision Science:

  • I created a complex regression model to forecast how many fake moustaches we might sell. This was based on world trends of moustaches, the bad-ass Magnum PI index and various other important variables.
  • An awesome lecturer is even more awesome when wearing a fake 118 118 moustache.

In total so far we have raised £2,806. If you stumble upon this post you can still sponsor us (and see some more pics), here: http://uk.movember.com/mospace/552498/

I’m now off to the pub, where I will be getting my monstrosity of a moustache shaved off by a barber with a cut-throat razor! It’s been fun!

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