- Ben Goldstein
This summer I’m a marketing intern at a brand development firm called The Visual Brand. It’s a pretty small firm, but it handles a number of large accounts for national companies.
On my first day, I was told I would be working on a project for a multi-billion dollar company regarding three of their biggest brands (I can’t say what they are, but you’ve probably heard of them). They came to our firm looking to do a partnership project with other brands, to revamp their own image and add products to their already extensive line. And here’s the kicker: it was my responsibility to come up with the companies they should partner with and the new products they should make. Under the guidance of the principal of the firm and one of the firm’s project managers, the other intern and I needed to come up with a list of companies and ideas to present to the client. A daunting task for a first time intern.
I wasn’t, however, too intimidated. I had experience in product development and marketing. In high school, I created a charitable brand of bottled water and marketed and sold it throughout Fairfield County, CT. At Michigan, I’ve been able to work on the SpringFest team to promote the festival and concert. I’ve worked with student organizations to come up with new and exciting displays and interactive events to present at the festival. We worked to develop marketing strategies that would be seen by thousands of people, both on and off Michigan’s campus. This was also seen as an asset by my boss, who realized that the work by MUSIC Matters and the SpringFest team in producing an event as large as it is requires real skill, from everyone involved.
So I began to develop a list of companies, and worked to think of new and exciting products for them to sell. In the end, we developed a list of over 50 companies, and probably over 150 product ideas. We narrowed down our list to the best ideas, and pitched them to our client. So far, they’ve loved what we’ve come up with. It’s dawned on me that, in a few months time, products and marketing strategies I came up with could be used by some of the biggest companies in the US and on shelves across the country.
I didn’t think I was ready to market products to thousands of people, let alone millions. But without the experience MUSIC Matters and SpringFest have given me, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to try.
Ben Goldstein is a Junior from Westport, CT majoring in Communications and minoring in Business at the Ross School of Business. This year, he is the Head of Student Organizations for SpringFest.