Teens + Branding 101 = Awesomeness

Teens + Branding 101 = Awesomeness

I was honored to teach a Branding 101 class and social media to both high school and middle school students during the annual University of Colorado at Boulder’s Leeds School of Business, Business Leadership Program (phew). For the past 4 years I’ve taught this class and loved every second of it!

This program began close to 30 years ago and had the privilege of going through the program as a junior in high school over 18 years ago (quick…do the math!). My freshman and sophomore years at CU I joined the program as a counselor, then the counselor coordinator my junior year and finally, the program coordinator my senior year. Since then, I’ve been involved in some way, either as a judge or guest lecturer.

The goal of the program is to get a diverse group of “top of their game” students exposed to CU in the hopes that they will attend the Business School when the time comes. The kids spend a week on the campus learning about college life and preparing a marketing plan for a sponsoring company. The presentations consist of a television commercial, print ad, social media, brochure and financial outline.

The highlight of the high school week and middle school week was definitely teaching the middle schoolers about branding. The funnest class EVER! They were so energetic and engaging. Talking branding with them was an all time high! I feel like I could do it everyday (all the middle school teachers out there are rolling their eyes right now). The best part was that I got to “brand battles” (like breakdance battles but with companies) with matches like Converse vs. Vans. I spent an entire 10 minutes talking about the successes of the Spongebob brand. And I used 2 Chainz, Tre Songz and Usher as personal brand examples. Know your audience! 😉

The middle school class always starts out so calm. But then the “brand battle” between Apple and Dell got intense!

I think I was talking about my love for the Starbucks brand here. Do they look bored or intrigued? Hmm…

The high school class wasn’t as loud and vocal as their younger counterparts, but still a great group.

Last day: student presentations and awards! They were dropping terms like community engagement, online presence, target market, cost per click, call to action, and brand experience… Made me so proud!

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