A handful of kids got a taste of retail branding in the recent creation of the ultimate lemonade stand at a busy Manhattan plaza, thanks to two A.R.E. members based in the area. Brand agency CBX worked with a team of 9- to 12-year-olds for two months to develop the concept, while Big Apple Visual Group manufactured and built the stand. The project was organized by 826NYC, an organization fostering creative writing skills in under-resourced students.
“Having the students plan with the professionals at CBX, execute, and then interact with the general public … will have a profound effect on these young people,” said 826NYC Founder Dave Eggers.
The students worked side-by-side with the CBX creative team on the business name and design of the logo, stand, signage, product packaging, and uniforms. The 10-ft.-by-20-ft. stand resembled “a tropical oasis hidden in the heart of New York City’s steamy concrete jungle,” replete with a treasure chest cooler for the product, palm trees, towering Easter Island statues, flamingos, penguins, a misting system, and “Welcome to Paradise” signage.
CBX sought “to energize the young creative minds of 826NYC and to enable them to see that their imaginations can be realized in a meaningful and tangible way,” said Gregg S. Lipman, managing partner of CBX. “We wanted them to experience how gratifying it is to come up with an amazing idea and see it come to life.”
“Sweet ’n Sour Chillville” was open for eight hours at Broadway and 23rd Street on a warm August day. Staffed with 11 students, it sold 3,000 bottles of Lemon826 Sweet ’n Sour Lemon Twist, raising nearly $3,000 for the Brooklyn-based nonprofit. A video and signage about 826NYC helped students discuss their experiences as part of the group’s after-school programs with the public.
“The lemonade stand was a great opportunity for our students to not only learn about how to tell a story through branding with the folks at CBX, but to also lend their voice to why 826NYC is so important,” said Joshua Mandelbaum, executive director of 826NYC.
CBX provides pro bono branding services to the organization, and Lipman said the agency plans to continue working with the group. “I’m proud that CBX was able to make a difference in these kids’ lives. It was a unique and fulfilling experience for the entire CBX staff, and a cool reminder as to why we are in the creative business in the first place,” Lipman said.
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