A recipe for success

My story with the muffins starts right at the moment I received an invitation from UQ to apply for what they say is “one of the best subjects” in the Business School. It is called Commercialisation in Practice. To be honest, I didn’t know much about the course at that moment, but it definitely sounded fancy, so I decided to give it a try and applied.

After a torturous wait, they finally accepted me into the course. I really didn’t know what to expect, and wasn’t very sure if it was a good idea. Finally, the semester started and on the first week we had a networking night with UQ researchers who had different projects for students to participate in during the semester. Most of these projects were about fantastic technologies that can save the world. However, I’m definitely not a technology person, even though I belong to a generation that seems to have it in our DNA. Anyway, there were also some projects more suitable for me.

One of them was about cholesterol-lowering muffins, and it captured my attention because it was really innovative and it was related to food and health – two things that I really like.

In the end I chose that project. I was really excited and started working really hard on it. At some point I felt I needed to know more about the science behind the product, so my professor introduced me to the researcher who developed this idea.

That’s when I met Nima, the brain behind this amazing project. She explained to me all the technical processes involved and shared with me not only her knowledge, but also her desire to translate the complexity of science into a product that could have a positive impact on people’s lives. I was fascinated with the idea of creating something for the welfare of people, and decided to help her to arrange a trial where people would try the muffins and give us valuable feedback.

We decided we wanted to go big, so we thought it would be a good idea to choose a name for the brand, design a logo and create a banner and some flyers to give to people during the trial. At that moment I freaked out a little bit because all that seemed a bit too much, but I didn’t care and started to think about possible names for our product. We decided that “The Good Heart” would be a good idea so we picked that name for the brand.

Now it was time to create a logo. Since my artistic and creative skills are nil, I knew I was not going to be able to create it, nor any flyer or banner. Thank goodness, my brother was born with artistic and creative acumen and he also happened to be a graphic designer, so I called him and asked him for his help and he was really keen to design something for me. He ended up designing an amazing logo for the brand, plus a banner for our trials and a flyer explaining the science behind the muffins in a really easy and nice way for people to understand the value of the product.

Having set up all the elements we needed for the trial, we went to have a chat with the manager of a cafe in Teneriffe to arrange the activity. On the day of the trial we went to the cafe and set up our banner and flyers. Everyone loved it.

That day we could only give the muffins to 12 people. Most of them really liked it, especially the concept of a cholesterol-lowering product. We were really excited with the activity and Nima was tweeting photos of the experience. However, we realised that we needed more people to try the muffins in order to get feedback from a greater population, so we were a bit worried because we didn’t know where else could we do a trial.

Fortunately, and thanks to Twitter, UQ’s Office of Marketing and Communications contacted Nima as they were really interested in her study. So we got the opportunity not only to do a second trial at Darwin’s Café at the St Lucia campus, but to have a short video made for Facebook, and a press release sent to world-wide media about the project.

This time it was a much larger trial. We got insights from more than 50 people, mostly young adults who were very interested in the product and gave us great feedback.

Now it is time to develop the best commercialisation strategy to launch this product to the market.

I can definitely say that this has been the best project I’ve ever been involved in and I really hope I can keep working on it. 

Last updated:
23 May 2017