This year was our first year implementing our brand new 12th grade curriculum where our 12th graders will participate in rotational internship placements as a youth-driven marketing firm. Our first 6-week internship was with Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, a long-time Give Merit supporter!
Students were split into three teams and placed within three departments - Zing Community, Mail Order, and Maker Works where they assisted with social media and marketing projects.
- Team Members: Madison, LaKyra, Jamya, Von, CJ, and Kamaree
Zing Community oversees all of the community partnerships, volunteer opportunities, and initiatives. They asked our students to help them create a deeper social media connection to the nonprofits they work with and increase awareness of the nonprofits they work with without seeming “braggy”. In the end, the team developed a “Your Dollars Matter” theme to showcase how Zingerman’s customers are making an impact in the community. For example, when Zingerman’s donates to the “League of Women Voters of Ann Arbor”, customers' dollars are helping to empower women. Their social media plan consists of a variety of non-profit spotlight posts highlighting the “Your Dollars Matter” theme, a few graphics that tell Zingerman’s giving story such as “10% of our profits go to help local nonprofits” shown as a famous Zingerman’s pie, video interviews with Zingerman’s volunteers and non-profit staff, and a catchy “Zingteers” hashtag to accompany every post.
- Team Members: Sa’Lena, DaQuan, Tiffany, Monte, RJ, Tyler, and Kurtise
Mail Order is an “online shop and catalog that sells Zingerman’s products and a variety of their favorite non-Zing food across the country”. They asked our students to help increase their social media presence and delivery. As they passed around samples of Zingerman’s best selling product - the sour cream coffee cake - this team shared with us their theme of “Breaking Bread”, bringing people together through food. This theme encompasses three categories: 1) “Home is Where the Food Is” - which showcases the Mail Order business through photos of employees, customer reposts, tours of the warehouse, and Ann Arbor highlights. 2) Welcome to / Join the Family - providing polls for customers about their purchasing and order delivery experiences while encouraging them to post a photo of their order with the hashtag #zmofam. 3) “Family Around the World” - posting a map of where all their food around the world comes from and developing “Brad’s TV Show” with 10 minute segments following his travels as he sources the food from a variety of places and cultures.
- Team Members: Mekhi, Le’Morris, Domo, Stephen, Auttumn, Sedrick, and Olivia
Maker Works is a space that “welcomes makers and hobbyists of all levels to utilize their tools, equipment, and peer support to create the things they need, explore their craft, and learn something new”. They asked our students to create more “Make & Take” classes and develop a marketing plan. Through brainstorming, eliminating, and consulting Maker Works employees, 5 brand new “Make & Take” classes were created, specifically designed for Millennials and Gen Z! These classes include creating a personalized t-shirt, personalized coffee traveler, custom skeeball game, personalized stuffed animal, and a personalized wooden phone case. So how will people know about these awesome new classes? Through their marketing plan of course which includes social media advertising, print ads in newspapers and website ads, through a brand new “maker package deal” that offers reasonable prices for classes.
Special thank you to Zingerman’s for offering such a unique opportunity to our students and taking their ideas into consideration!
Photography By: Allison Farrand