MBA students help Red Arrows boost British business

LBS MBAs recommend strategies to stimulate UK economic growth

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MBA students from London Business School have teamed up with the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, to identify ways in which this iconic British brand could attract more custom for the best of British businesses.

The UK Government has commissioned the RAF Red Arrows to stimulate UK economic growth. During a two-week ‘London Business Experience’ immersion, five teams of MBA students from London Business School have worked closely with the Arrows to come up with creative strategies that use its brand power to boost British business.

Air Vice-Marshal Andrew Turner, who commands the RAF Red Arrows, says: “The students have given us a range of innovative, thoughtful, and insightful ideas that we just hadn’t contemplated before. 

“They also provided some really useful business perspectives, which we will be using with senior business leaders from the FTSE 20 in the next couple of weeks. If we can turn these ideas into action, it will help reposition the Red Arrows from being air show closing, aircraft orientated and homeland focussed, into an opportunity for UK plc to help open markets, launch products and engage stakeholders all over the world – all to help promote UK prosperity.”

Strategies examined partnering with other British brands and using new technologies to leverage brand value. 

One MBA team recommended a partnership with the British fashion industry, which currently contributes £26billion to the UK economy. Leveraging the Red Arrows and British fashion brands’ sense of ‘Britishness’ could increase awareness of individual fashion labels. The Red Arrows could also perform at fashion shows as well as featuring in marketing and advertising campaigns. 

The development of a mobile app was another of the recommendations. Red Arrow enthusiasts could vote for the manoeuvres they would like to see at forthcoming performances. Voting would be preceded by a 30-second advert for a British brand.

Ishaan Aggarwal, MBA, London Business School, took part in the LBE. He says: “Red Arrows LBE was a great opportunity to step out of the London and finance bubble, and actually provide a wider perspective on how businesses and teams work in different parts of the country.”

Nader Tavassoli, Professor of Marketing, London Business School, says: “An experience like the Red Arrows is not only unforgettable, but students’ valued feedback also has meaningful impact. Learning does not get much more ingrained than that.”