Broaden Branding Exercise With Entrepreneurial Design KDU Groom Highly Skilled Designers To Grow Business

Tricia Pang Huey Yeeng, a student of Diploma in Entrepreneurial Design with her sustainable design concept applied to the table lamp. KDU Entrepreneurial Design students proudly hold their works exhibition at Marketplace, Utropolis Glenmarie.
KDU Entrepreneurial Design students proudly hold their works exhibition at Marketplace, Utropolis Glenmarie. 
Introducing a new product into an existing market calls for careful due diligence to ensure product penetration is successful and that the new product is able to compete with other existing ones in the market. What is crucial in ensuring this? It is none other than innovation and design thinking, which are essential in defining and developing core branding assets and to ensure that the brand and product are up-to-date with mainstream trend.

For commencement of a new business, it is far more than just creating a logo, building a website or developing social media profiles. Thus, acquiring an all-rounder creative designer with knowledge of markets, business, finance and technology, is an ideal way to start out branding exercise in facing the nowadays fiercely competitive business world.

In responding to the uprising need of even more creative entrepreneurs, KDU University College’s Diploma in Entrepreneurial Design was developed. For it is the first programme of its kind in Malaysia, the School of Communication and Creative Arts (SCCA) is actually stretching the boundary of creative and design education in this region to meet the demand of rapidly changing business. 

With aims to develop and nurture young creative talents who are business-savvy and entrepreneurial, this programme with multi-disciplinary approaches seeks to navigate every student to be a thinking designer, a resourceful problem-solver and an innovative entrepreneur. Upon graduation, students are expected to have their own start-up business, be highly skilled and be ready to join the creative industry.

“This programme cultivates a strong background of business with essential components of design concept, design skills, and techniques.” stated Mr. Loo Chong Hang, Acting Head of SCCA.

According to Loo, this programme is best suited for those who are aesthetically-inclined, possess a strong sense of design, love to be involved in the creative content creation, and have the natural ability to emote to current trends in the design market. Nevertheless, it does not emphasise 100% on technical skills; students have to produce an out-of-the-box entrepreneurial solution.
There are three main areas in moulding an entrepreneurial designer – Design Skills and Techniques; Creative and Innovative Concept; Business Knowledge and Practice. Under these three main areas, students will go through modules such as Web Design, Mobile Apps Design, Photography, Exhibition Design, Fashion Merchandise, Packaging and Strategic Branding, Sustainable Design, Consumer Behaviour, Design and Business Management, Social Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Communication and Skills, Technology with Business, just to name a few.

“Other than the usual lecture and tutorial settings, students often experience a series of workshop, seminars, meetings and out-of-classroom learning with tutors, industry practitioners, and real-world entrepreneurs. In addition, a teaching body of academics, industry practitioners, and professional artists will also guide students’ learning, where students are constantly encouraged to stay up-to-date in both creativity and start-up models,” Loo further elaborated.

Entrepreneurial Design students at KDU are required to integrate what they have learnt with real-life applications through challenges and tasks given along the way. Through this process, they are able to discover more about themselves and their own capabilities, as Tricia Pang Huey Yeeng, a second-year student discovered, “I was afraid of being wrong, that I ended up not taking chances at one point, and remained average and stagnant. This programme made me realise this and helped me to start anew with a different perspective. This has been a great turning point in my life.”

Khadija Binti Sheikh Fuad, a second-year student, also shared her experiences in this programme. “As I wanted to get into the fashion industry, I thought I should broaden my horizon in every design aspect, hence why I enrolled myself into this programme.”

“I came in with zero knowledge of designing, but I am now able to create visually pleasing outcomes that are practical. This programme has helped me tremendously, as I dream of opening a boutique with my own brand. It gives me concrete designing skills and entrepreneurial knowledge,” continued Khadija, who plans to sell her products online prior to opening a physical store.

Another final year student, Saidah Nafisah Binti Yunos, enthused, “Two years ago, I was a pastry chef, and decided to pursue my dream of learning design. Taking this big challenge made me feel good about myself and I grew in ways that surprised me!”
Enjoying the inspiring learning process, students of the Diploma in Entrepreneurial Design have their dedicated lecturers, who made their dreams even more possible, to thank. “My lecturer, Ms. Regina Chin, helped and guided me throughout the journey in the Designpreneur Faire (an end-of-semester fare put up by students to exhibit their innovation products). If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have had the knowledge I have today to become a better designer,” said Felicia She Suek Fern, a final year student.