Students at Riverside always get new opportunities to apply their learning in a “real world” way. In Mr. Rothenburger’s marketing 11 & 12 classes, a major project was assigned that involves his class marketing and selling their own products. Students had to come up with ideas for products that would interest the students and staff at Riverside. Without enough interest or high demand for the products, it would be more difficult for the marketing students to succeed. Products such as lanyards, portable chargers, and Riverside merchandise have already been sold this year as well as phone cases, water bottles, and hats. The most popular products are the Riverside merchandise that includes hoodies, crewnecks, and sweatpants. The marketing students this year have used those ideas and already started to sell their products.
The reason this project was started was the high demand for the Riverside merchandise. Although projects similar have been done for many years in the past, the project is usually run through the entrepreneurship class. “The way the timetable worked out this year is that we didn’t have an entrepreneurship class in this first semester. So we had three blocks of marketing and we just put a different spin on it and focused on the marketing mix,” said Rothenburger. His students were able to choose their own group or work alone, as well as chose their product. Multiple groups could sell the same product, creating a competition among the students.
By doing this project, students are learning how to use hands-on marketing. “The whole purpose is to take everything theoretical about retail marketing, and take it out of the theoretical to make it real,” said Rothenburger. It’s up to students to organize their own product strategies, such as pricing, promotion, and distribution.
Although there could be challenges doing this projects (such as not selling all products, not making any profit, or problems among group members), it still a good opportunity to learn about marketing in the real world. “There will always be challenges. It’s how you adapt to those challenges and how you face them. I think the biggest positive is that the students seem to be having fun with it! And whenever you can take curriculum and make it fun, it’s a win-win,” said Rothenburger. No matter the challenges, having the opportunity to create a business to market products is a great experience for the students.