Designing an Energy Drink: High School Students Learn Design and Marketing Skills in This Activity

By Martin, Doug | Technology & Learning, March 2008 | Go to article overview

Designing an Energy Drink: High School Students Learn Design and Marketing Skills in This Activity


Martin, Doug, Technology & Learning


Dad may have loved Coca-Cola and mom's drink of choice may have been Pepsi, but the newest craze among teenagers is a can full of energy.

A decade ago, energy drinks were almost nonexistent in the United States, but in the past five years they've become wildly popular. In fact, the $3.4 billion energy-drink market is expected to double this year alone, and the younger generation is the market targeted by manufacturers.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

This energy-drink assignment is at an intermediate to advanced level. This project can be created using many different programs such as Adobe Paint, Photoshop, and Illustrator and Corel Draw. It should be given only to students who have a working knowledge of the different artistic or design applications. You can choose to use a single piece of software or a combination. My personal preference for this lesson is Photoshop and Illustrator.

Know your audience

Just as it is in the development of any consumer product, it is key for students to know their target audience. Fortunately, it is 16- to 35-year-olds, which includes your students.

Today's kids love to be different and show their individuality. Many of them wear graphic t-shirts, trendy hair styles, earrings, piercings, and tattoos. In this assignment, they will learn a little bit about themselves and how to target a specific audience for their product.

Design research

Research is the project's most important stage. Being a designer myself, I know this is the stage that gets the creativity flowing. You and your students can go to the grocery or convenience store and look at the different energy drinks for inspiration. You can also Google Image Search "energy drinks" for additional reference. I recommend you first bring in examples of energy drinks. There is no substitute for holding a three-dimensional object in your hand.

Branding

Brand identity usually consists of a name, logo, slogan, packaging, and Web site. A successful brand is very memorable and has a loyal fan base due to its identity. A really cool name is important, but a stylish logo is a must for establishing branding for an energy drink.

Details

What makes a successful energy drink? …

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