Osmocote® is unique in so many ways including the way in which it’s managed. Since 2003, 5–8 students a year at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business have managed the brand. Click here to check out our current class!
Osmocote® is a registered trademark licensed to The Scotts Company, LLC. Scotts owns the inventory and distributes the product. However, in a special program, Scotts and Indiana University provide resident business school students with real-world marketing experience. To date, more than 60 students have participated in the program.
Students are selected in a highly competitive interview process. Then the MBA students must commit to two academic semesters. The MBAs receive course credit and work 12 hours/week during the school year. One MBA student is always a finance major. The others are pulled from Kelley’s Consumer Marketing Academy. Two undergraduate business school juniors are selected each spring for paid summer internships. Their commitment begins in May when the MBA students are away from campus. So far, there have been nine undergraduates in the program. Generally, the undergraduates have continued to work on the business when school resumes in the fall. They work with the MBA students to run the brand, and the undergraduates are also mentored by the MBAs when they are going through the job interview process.
The students address all aspects of the brand management process. They handle brand strategy, selection of product formula and package, label design, sizing, pricing, consumer research, merchandising tools, sales materials, the brand’s social marketing, the brand’s website and consumer advertising and promotional activities. Throughout the year, students are mentored and guided by the program’s initiator and director, Bob Stohler, a retired Scotts Executive Vice President.
A key benefit of the arrangement for Scotts is exceptional visibility to the marketing MBAs at Kelley. For Scotts, knowing these students is valuable because Kelley attracts some of the best marketing talent in the country – The Wall Street Journal currently rates IU as one of the top MBA schools for brand management in America and The Financial Times ranks the marketing program in the top 10 worldwide.
From a Kelley student’s perspective, working on a brand in real-time is an experience that can’t be had at any other institution. Team members actively participate in the management of a broadly distributed product, on projects that range from creating a new SKU to the management of a consumer mail-in rebate promotion. Apparently other companies like this program, as well. Those students who don’t become full-time at Scotts post-graduation are employed at blue-chip consumer marketing companies like General Mills, 3M, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Sara Lee, Kraft, Target, Kohl’s, Kellogg's, Hasbro, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, ConAgra, Mead Johnson, Whirlpool and Eli Lilly.
To learn more about the program, visit www.BloomingtonBrands.com. To learn more about the Kelley School, visit www.kelley.iu.edu. To learn more about the Osmocote® brand, visit www.PlantersPlace.com or come ‘like’ us at www.facebook.com/OsmocotePlantFood.
“Working at Bloomington Brands has been one of my greatest learning experiences. Not only are you working on projects that can be seen on store shelves, but working with Bob has consistently expanded my business knowledge. Being a former Executive Vice President, Mr. Stohler shares with you knowledge and insight on decision making processes, budgeting, financing, marketing, etc. The amount of responsibility and role you take on is unprecedented for an undergraduate internship. Another great aspect of working at Bloomington Brands is the network you gain. The Bloomington Brands alumni family is throughout the United States working at companies like Kraft, Proctor, Scotts, and many others.” - Zach Leffers, Undergraduate Intern, Class of 2012