A cross-disciplinary student team examined young people's ideas about consumption and working life in a project completed for the Association for Finnish Work. The purpose of the project was to provide the Association for Finnish Work with a picture of how young people view themes important to the association, such as the domestic nature of companies and products.
The members of the team – finance students Aleksi Försti and Mikko Ilmonen and marketing student Anne-Mari Pelkonen from Aalto University School of Business – considered the topic interesting and significant for the entire Finnish corporate world.
They based their analysis on qualitative research and a semi-structured interview, in which they presented a group of students who were about to graduate with the same questions in the same sequence.
Based on analysis and interpretation of the interviews, it is now easier for the association's member companies to reach young consumers and employees. The project team also provided the association with proposals to develop communication and positioning related to the Key Flag, Design From Finland and Finnish Social Enterprise marks that it manages.
‘As a consumer group, young people are exceptionally active and aware. Their values will also be passed on to the next generations. If companies and brands want to remain relevant in the future, they should be talking to young people today,’ say the students.
New perspectives on Association for Finnish Work activities
Research Manager Jokke Eljala, who represented the association, was satisfied with the results of the project and the cooperation with the Aalto student team.
Jokke Eljala says that although collaborating with Aalto was a new experience for the Association for Finnish Work, it reinforced the feeling that this model could be used to implement projects with different themes in the future. ‘Working with Aalto University people provided new perspectives and expanded on existing themes. The project results also include new elements that hadn’t come up earlier. Investigating them may add further understanding to the association’s operations and actions.’
Doctoral candidate Laura Rosenberg from Aalto's Department of Marketing was the academic advisor for the project.
‘The students worked independently and made good progress in the project areas. It was also great to see how they implemented the qualitative research so well despite the exceptional conditions. They reached the customer’s target group and successfully conducted the interviews virtually,’ says Laura Rosenberg.
‘It was interesting to gain insight into the values of other young people and consider how they relate to our own thoughts. In addition, the interview techniques learned during the project will certainly be useful to us in the future. Cooperation with the Association for Finnish Work went very smoothly, and it was rewarding to provide them with new perspectives,’ explain the students.