It all started with an unexpected email in February. Middle school teacher Sarah Milling wanted to encourage her students to become excited about reading, and also help them learn a bit about marketing. Her idea? In a nutshell, task her 8th graders with marketing a book to their peers. Her question? Would The Wendt Agency be willing to help? Why, of course we would!
The students got to choose any book they wanted, and that means there is a wide variety of types—biographies, fiction, sci-fi, even a graphic novel. But while the content might be different, the challenge is the same: convince other middle schoolers to read your book.
Three members of the Wendt team—Brenda Peterson, Jennifer Fritz, and Carol Kruger—spent a day at East Middle School, walking the 8th graders through a lot of marketing basics:
- Defining a brand
- Doing market research
- Determining your target audience
- Developing a marketing plan
- Deciding on the right mix of communications outreach tactics
We even had a little fun with it, testing their knowledge of logos and tag lines for brands like Pepsi, Beats by Dre, Amazon, and All State. The only one that stumped them? The Quicker Picker Upper, which is for Bounty paper towels. But to the 8th grader who thought “The Quicker Picker Upper” was, or should be, Uber’s tag line—call us when you graduate, because that is genius!
The students are hard at work with their marketing efforts now. We can’t wait to hear how things go and will be keeping all of you updated on the student’s progress as this project moves forward!