What's Your Angle?
This lesson printed from:
Posted February 12, 2004
Grades: 3-5, 6-8
Author: Cross-Curricular Connections
Posted: February 12, 2004
Updated: February 27, 2008
This lesson is last in a series of lessons on entrepreneurship for 3-5. Students will learn about market research and ways to influence consumer behavior through non-price competition. They will look for ways to make their products or innovations more appealing to consumers through advertisement.
- Discuss the need for a marketing plan for a new business.
- Use market research strategies to identify key questions and determine the answers for their own new business.
- Develop marketing materials including a slogan, a visual advertisement, and a radio ad to market to the right audience.
- Describe the role of competition among sellers in a market economy.
Entrepreneurs take risks. If your students and you have come this far in the unit, they must have decided that they are risk-takers. Now it’s time for them to use that risk-taking side of themselves and be creative by coming up with a marketing plan for their new business. This lesson will help them identify the key elements they’ll need to successfully market their product.
Present your students with a product and a business plan. Let them know their employees are motivated and ready to work. Now, how do they find customers and sell? They need a marketing strategy. Today they’ll begin to think about who their customers are and what is likely to make them buy their product – and it’s not always the price!
Students need to know that in many markets, the price of a product is not a key to the success or failure of the companies selling it. Companies have to consider other factors. Non-price competition refers to ways of competing with other producers other than by cutting prices such as packaging, service contracts, location sold, product brand or image. In addition to advertising, the idea of being competitive and aware of what one's competitiors are doing is important.
Assign students a business partner. Have them work with their partner, or alone if they are sole proprietors, to answer some important questions about the market for their business using this interactive activity. The answers to these questions will help them develop a non-price competitive edge.
Now that your students have thought about what might influence their customers’ behavior, have them take a look at some examples of existing advertisements to see what “real” businesses are doing to attract consumers. (You will have a collection of printed advertisements to look at.) Students should try to identify what themes or strategies the advertisers were focused on and which of the important questions (who, what, when, where, why, how) they built into the ads.
Have the students discuss with a partner some of the advertising jingles they’ve heard. Ask them what they think is the intended audience for each one? Why?
Now that they’ve answered the questions and have some ideas about how to market their product, it’s time to create the ad campaign. Students should use the strategies they’ve outlined to create three promotional pieces for their product. Make sure they consider what motivates the consumers they are targeting as they create the materials. In this activity, students will need to complete the following:
- Create a slogan or a jingle for their product. Ask them to try to “catch” the consumer’s ear with the key phrase they think will draw consumers to their product.
- Create a visual advertisement. Should it be a picture of the product? Should it be a list of its advantages over other products? Should it make reference to specific seasons or events?
- Create a radio spot. This is taking the visual ad and putting it into words; they’ll have to keep the ad short, or costs will rise! Try to make it 15-30 seconds at the most.
Students will share their ideas and advertisements with the rest of your class. While they listen to their classmates' ideas, ask them to identify the audience the presenters were trying to reach. Take suggestions on how they might refine their strategy.
Talk with your students about knowing their audience. Emphasize the point that knowing the customer is as important to the success of their business as having a good product to sell. If they don’t consider the consumer, they won’t win them over to their product. The customers’ wants and needs are your students’ [note apostrophe] wants and needs.
So, they have gone the full course of an entrepreneur, except for the actual business of running a business. Do they think their plans will work? What do they think they still need to consider? Talk this unit over with your class. What do they think the easiest part of starting their own business is? What will be the hardest?
Take a quick survey to see how many plan to investigate going into business for themselves in the future. How many true entrepreneurs are there among your students?
After completing activities one through four, have your students turn in all completed work to you. The marketing plans they hand in will be used for the final assessment. Since many of the plans will be different from one another, use the activity descriptions to begin your assessment of their work. (For example, each element of the advertising campaign needs to be addressed, etc.) Attached is a sample rubric that you can adapt/adjust to fit this activity.
Teachers can suplement this lesson with these related EconEdLink lessons: