Are You Smarter Than a Sixth Grader?

Probably not. Not in the terms most business coaches speak in like your emotional IQ, 360 degree self-awareness and having clarity of purpose. An eleven year old’s mind is not yet clouded with financial obligations, expectations from boards or an existing employee culture. They have the luxury of still seeing their passion and purpose in life with simplistic clarity–a skill most C-levels pay business coaches quite a lot to help them cut through all of their head trash to figure it out.

We are in the communications business, so when we meet a new client with absolute clarity on who they truly are, combined with a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and why, it’s refreshing–and rare! Gerard Marketing Group’s youngest client to date, my eleven-year-old daughter, Meredith, has all of those assets.

Her passion is theatre, but as she says, “The tragic irony of my hobby is that the hardest part is getting in the show.” Having some success at “getting the part,” but not as much as she had hoped, inspired her to start her own production company. “Besides, my true passion is directing and teaching, so why not make my own show!”

Last summer she asked if Gerard Marketing Group would help her create the marketing she needed–a name, tagline, logo and Web site. We began the work as we do all Gerard marketing projects with a solid Creative Brief. Being her mom (and short on time myself), I asked her to fill out the first draft of the brief to help her learn the marketing process. Her first draft (whipped up in 20 minutes) had the absolute clarity and direction we needed to build a brand.

Creative Brief

Situation: I’m an eleven-year-old girl running a camp for kids between seven and nine every summer. We will work on skills over two weeks regarding acting, stage and costume design, dance and voice technique, and memorization. At the end of the two weeks we will perform a show that incorporates all the skill sets for the children’s parents.

Target audience: Second grade girls and their parents

My “Why”: I love the theatre and hope to become a director one day. I want to provide an easy-going and fun environment for young girls to learn about singing, acting, dancing, crew work, and the work and dedication needed for anything that you love in life. My biggest goal is to help bring out the best in the people I will be working with during the camp. I also want to raise at least a hundred dollars to donate back to a community organization.

Tone: I want the logo to reflect the feel of the camp, which is fun, bright, and energetic. For color I was thinking about turquoise and yellow but I’m open to other options. There should be a light and dark contrast between the two colors. I want the color scheme to be female dominant but not too exclusive. I don’t want too much flash or frills, but it can’t be drab either.

Key Benefits:
• Confidence in the way they speak and act in everyday life
• Knowledge of how backstage is operated
• Artistic costume and stage design skills
• Techniques of acting, dancing, and singing

The creative brief she wrote resulted in a couple of hours of brainstorming to develop the name, Freckles Productions, and tagline, Bring Out Your Brilliance, as we drove around the shoreline of Michigan on vacation. The first version of the logo and tagline design was the final. The Web site was completed in record time.

Direction from the perspective of a sixth grader begets meaningful brands. Brands that resonate what the company stands for and what those that affiliate with them can expect.

The Freckle Productions brand launched today! I am so very proud of my sixth grade client. See more at