Project Study - Elwin Quo Vadis

Want to work on an exciting sustainability-oriented study project? AstorMueller is looking for a team of students to help in defining their sustainable shoes product line and brand. AstorMueller is a privately-owned company employing 600+ people with locations across Europe and India. The company produces shoes for several brands (e.g., Bugatti), but also manufactures shoes under in-house own branding. 

In 2021, the business decided to move fast into the sustainable shoes sector and launched their own first brand of sustainable shoes. However, the brand struggled to attract customers and recorded poor performance and low market tractions. The management team is looking for a group of students for a project study to:

  • Analyze the European market and competitive environment, to understand where there is an opportunity: 
    • What are competitors doing? Are they successful? And if so, what are their success factors?
    • Can a sustainable footwear brand be profitable? Or is it too young for major success in the broader mass market?
  • Develop a concept and go-to-market strategy (“Where to play?” and “How to win?”) for us to re-start our journey to a more sustainable footwear. 
    • Review and analyze elwin including its current products, positioning, marketing, website and social media presence
    • Understand AstorMueller as a company including how we operate (especially product development) ▪ Also consider our other brands, their products, positioning, marketing, website and social media presence (Bugatti, BAGATT, Daniel Hechter)
    • Consider and argue how you would enter the sustainable footwear market if you have the financial and human resources to do so: 
      • Launch a brand built entirely around sustainability
      • Make an existing brand’s collection “more sustainable”
      • Some other strategy?

AstorMueller management team believes this is a fascinating project to understand how to think about approaching a new opportunity, but also to get a perspective of how a company operates and the reality of making things happen. The project would be in close collaboration with the strategy and brand management team at AstorMueller, but would also involve an insight into product development, marketing, sales, supply chain and – if required – travel to selected markets across Europe and sourcing locations (Portugal). 

If you are interested, please send your individual application (CV, Motivation Letter and Transcripts) and questions to Prof. Dr. Frank-Martin Belz (e-mail: No deadline has been communicated at the time of this post. If interested, apply ASAP.

More information in the PDF attached.