CUBE at Vlerick Business School: “Almost every product or service looks the way it does because of market research”

On the 3th of October, CUBE was represented at Vlerick Business School to introduce young marketers to the world of market research. For half a day, students at Vlerick Business School were presented with interesting lectures and inspiring cases to show that there is much more to market research than they might initially think. Market research can make a difference for businesses, and that’s one of the messages Wim Hamaekers (One Inch Whale) wanted to give the students.

Many marketing students are unaware of what market research stands for. Students often link market research with methodology or SPSS only, but it’s much more than just that. Wim Hamaekers and a team of other researchers from various companies made it their mission to show the students what market research really is, and especially what it’s not.


“We started with a global review of the research sector. In this part, students can get familiarized with what market research is, what the importance of it is and so on. Afterwards, three to four cases were presented by different research companies. Each of these cases illustrates the importance of market research in the business world”, according to Wim Hamaekers. Hamaekers himself, for instance, talked about how colour science and predictive engineering helped Danone in optimising their packaging. Next to these cases, a Vlerick-alumni brought a testimonial on why and how he ended up in research. He talked about his experiences and brought another perspective to the students.

The initiative has become a recurring event and is even part of the market research fundamentals course at Vlerick Business School. “What we teach them is an integral part of the course, and it’s part of the study material. Therefore, we always choose the most relevant cases which can inspire and develop the students’ skills to a maximum.”

Most important insights

During the day, Wim Hamaekers and the other researchers aimed to illustrate the importance of research, not only in the market but also in one’s career. “Starting a career in research offers numerous opportunities to gain unique insights in this industry. If you want to be the best marketer you can be, you should start your career in research. Why? When conducting research, you’re very close to everything consumer-centric and you learn to interpret data very well. Big companies value those skills”, according to Wim Hamaekers.

The researchers also emphasized how important research is, in many ways most people do not even notice. “Almost every product or service looks the way it does because of market research”, Wim Hamaekers says. Further, Hamaekers illustrated that when conducting research, you are as close as you can be to the newest technologies and tools. “This keeps you always very much up-to-date with the latest tech and the latest new things happening in the world.”

Positive collaboration

Both Vlerick Business School and the research industry are happy to organise such days. Vlerick gets an interesting course, focused on practical knowledge and specifically lectured by people who are active in the field. At the same time, Wim Hamaekers and other researchers get to promote their industry to students, who will soon be entering the labour market. “Even if we can encourage only one or two students to be interested in our industry, it’s a success. And it is, a couple of students have shown sincere interest since our event.”