Penn State Prime – The beginning

Weeks 1 & 2:
It’s the first two weeks of class, and I’m starting to not even want to call it “class.” So far, the days of being in this environment have been so different than any other class I’ve taken at Penn State, and I love it. I think I do my best learning when I’m actually learning by doing, as opposed to listening and being lectured to. Because this class is totally experimental, the structure of days and assignments is somewhat free-flowing, but I think that’s what works so well with everyone. When I go to prime every Tuesday & Thursday, I feel like I’m actually spending my time in a simulated business environment, rather than class at Penn State. Everything seems more professional, and everyone seems so insightful and determined to make the class great. Being in Prime makes me feel as if I’m actually doing what I could potentially be doing in real life as a job, and making a difference in a company.

Working on the Unilever side, I’m spending the semester as the brand manager for my team of six along with two other managers as well. Our group seems like we will be able to collaborate, bring new ideas and work well together. I hope that by the end of the semester, I can feel as if I’ve actually become my Role, and become part of Unilever with my team.

We started doing some research on Unilever’s heritage, values, and mission for today and the future to become more familiar with the company. I also found some great articles and important information about millennials, their habits, and the future of marketing/advertising. A lot of this helped shape our creative brief, which was really fun to work on and a great experience to pitch our brand values and information to Moxie. Important things I wanted to keep in mind:

  • Millennials love to look, and maybe not so much as be healthy
  • Mobile is going to become the center of marketing
  • Millennials are adventurous, optimistic, “in the moment” kind of people
  • Good content will not slow down –> need for this in the online marketplace is crucial
  • Customers continue to demand more transparency and engagement from genuine brands
  • Social will be THE channel (for marketing and brands)

Questions to explore:

  1. What makes a great brand?
  2. What makes a great brand manager?
  3. How long can a brand be “cool” & “relevant” for? How do you keep it sustainable

Links to go back to:

Books to read: Aliza Licht, Leave your Mark

*Missed the second day of class and phone call with Rachel- luckily, my team recorded the whole thing so I was able to keep up. However, I did learn a lot in NYC at the NRF Big Show -(notes from speaker Aliza Licht):

-Build your personal brand (DNA of the brand –> what do you stand for; what is your purpose; do you add value)
-Your network is your most valuable asset
-Value your relationships
-Surround yourself with smart people
-Don’t be afraid of “no” – present the idea anyway