The task is simple: create an edible, easily marketable burger for a local establishment to sell to perspective customers. The students of Eric Hatczel's Marketing I class have been given this task to better understand the inner workings of how businesses get their products sold and popularized in a community.
"The goal is to really just challenge us as marketing students," said senior Kristen Schrotenboer, 17, "The project tries to get us to think and be creative on how marketing works. Its true purpose is to make us think out of the box and find ways to succeed and be better than our competition."
The project tries to capture the fundamental task of a business: to create an original product and make a profit from said project. It's a clever lifting off point for students interested in pursuing a career in advertising or marketing. The project, deemed the "Tom & Eddie's Burger Challenge," started off with the marketing class being broken up into three groups. Each group had to design its own sandwich based on what the team members thought would be a clever and innovative addition to the Tom & Eddie's menu. Students in each group had to figure pricing, make sure their requests were reasonable for the business, and develop a planned attack on how they would sell the burger.
The competing teams all have to contribute a relevant chunk of the advertising. Each group has put up fliers and will now be selling the burger from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27.
So, what does the management think is the most important thing to know when selling new products?
“I think the target market is the most important thing,' said Tom & Eddie's Geneva store Manager Alicia Roby, "You need to know who you're selling to. You always have to know that not all businesses have the same market. Our business revolves around more of a family atmosphere. You always need to know your target market. Capital Grill in Oak Brook is going to have a different market than we are, and it's important, especially nowadays, to know who you're selling to in order to understand how and what to sell."
One of the burgers up for competition, The Pineapple Express—created by students Kristen Schrotenboer, Erin Serra, Jon Anderson, Matt Butz, David Goodyear, Tyler Chambers, Gill Zucker, Hannah Brennan, and Katie Reis—will be up for sale on Tuesday night. The sandwich will be served on a pretzel roll with a patty, pineapple slices, teriyaki, pepper jack cheese and bacon. The group members have high hopes that this burger will not only give them a marketing class victory, but their first-ever victory in the business world.
To make the project even more fulfilling, Tom & Eddie's has agreed to have 10 percent of all the proceeds from the burger go to a charity of the class' choosing. The Tom & Eddie's Burger Challenge will not only allow students to see how essential marketing is to a business's survival, but will also allow the citizens of Geneva to see the hands-on education students are getting at Geneva Community High School.
The Tom & Eddie's Burger Challenge
- What: The Pineapple Express, along with the other burgers involved in the Burger Challenge
- Where: Tom & Eddie's in the Geneva Commons, 1042 Commons Drive
- When: 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27