Chatham University Shines in GfK’s First Annual Next Generation Market Research Competition

New York, NY (March 28, 2012) – GfK, one of the world’s largest market research organizations, is proud to announce that Sarah Cornell and Hannah Esser, undergraduate students from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA are the winners of the first annual Next Generation Market Research Competition. Introduced in October 2011, GfK’s US-based Next Generation competition is designed to challenge student researchers and allow them a chance to test their marketing knowledge.

“Hannah and Sarah presented a well-researched, creative project and GfK is pleased to honor them with this award,” said David Krajicek, CEO of GfK Consumer Experiences North America. “Through this competition GfK hopes to generate excitement and interest in the market research industry amongst undergraduate students. This important initiative is a great way for students to become immersed in the daily life of a marketer, and truly become the next generation of talent for our industry.”

All students who entered the competition were required to conduct original qualitative and quantitative primary research and prepare a comprehensive research paper on a critical industry issue. The winning duo, Cornell and Esser, focused their research on the impact of social media with a final paper titled, “Like it – Buy it? Attitude-Behavior Relationships and their Implications for Social Media Marketing.” Their research examines the implications of brand pages on Facebook and whether the amount of “Likes” a brand page has influences the purchasing of a product.

“Facebook is a fascinating global phenomenon that we use daily,” said Sarah Cornell, undergraduate student from Chatham University. “Winning this award is not only a great feeling, but this project has been a wonderful learning experience. We’re appreciative of GfK and The ARF for giving us the opportunity to address a critical issue weighing on marketers’ minds today,” said Hannah Esser, undergraduate student from Chatham University.

As the winners of GfK’s Next Generation Award, Cornell and Esser received a $1,000 cash prize as well as an all-expense paid trip to New York City and presented their winning paper at the annual ARF Great Minds Award Ceremony held on March 28th.
For more information about GfK’s Next Generation Market Research Competition, visit

About GfK
GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 11,000 experts working to discover new insights about the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating to use the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.37 billion.
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