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The rattling of the buckles of a 4YOU school backpack – a sound that evokes nostalgia for many millennials who grew up in Germany. Around the turn of the millennium, the rucksack brand shaped the image of entire classrooms.

The Georg A. Steinmann Lederwarenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG, in short: Steinmann Group, gave our students the task of conceiving a revitalization of the 4YOU brand. 4YOU was founded in 1990 and is regarded as a pioneer in school backpacks. The Steinmann Group, headquartered in Nuremberg, comprises a total of ten brands. In addition to 4YOU, these include well-known brands such as Scout and the luggage brand Hardware.

Our 3rd semester Brand Management and the 2nd semester Brand Design came together in the modules “Marketing Concept” and “Graphic Design” to work together on an interdisciplinary basis in order to help 4YOU get a new wind of change.

4YOU Praxisprojekt Brand Academy Vorbereitungsphase

The Brand Management students developed a comprehensive marketing concept based on a situation analysis of the company, the brand and the target group as well as a market and competition analysis.

Meanwhile, the Brand Design students developed solution models for the design of new products based on a design and trend analysis. First prototypes made it possible to experience the ideas visually and haptically.

4YOU Praxisprojekt Brand Academy Vorbereitungsphase 4YOU Praxisprojekt Brand Academy Vorbereitungsphase

In the next step, the students of both courses came together in four interdisciplinary teams and worked on a deeper development of the ideas. They presented the results of their work in a final presentation to the management of the Steinmann Group.

4YOU Praxisprojekt Brand Academy Abschlusspräsentation

The students had taken up approaches of sustainability, new working environments and the nineties nostalgia. Among other things, this resulted in suggestions for an expanded range, limited editions or an online configurator.

4YOU Praxisprojekt Brand Academy Abschlusspräsentation 4YOU Praxisprojekt Brand Academy Abschlusspräsentation

The two managing directors, Oliver Steinmann and Thomas Prechtel, were enthusiastic: All concepts offered promising approaches to revive the legendary buckle.

“Our expectations were far exceeded. In particular, it should be emphasised how quickly and, above all, how deeply the students have familiarised themselves with the brand, our industry and the rucksack product segment”.

We would like to thank the Steinmann Group for enabling our students to work practically with the 4YOU brand. Through the interdisciplinary work between managers and designers, they gained valuable experience for their professional careers.

4YOU Praxisprojekt Brand Academy Abschlusspräsentation

Key Facts

  • Module: Marketing-Conception (BM) & Graphic Design (BD)
  • Professors: Prof. Ute Röseler & Prof. Ansgar Eidens
  • Semester: 3rd Semester Brand Management & 2nd Semester Brand Design

Research Methods

  • Brand analysis
  • Situation Analysis
  • Strategic and conceptual approaches for brand revitalization
  • Concept and design approaches for products (design and trend analysis)
  • Development of conceptual and prototypical solution models


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