Alumni-created company makes students business reps

REPRESENT: Annie Wechter and Ben Levy are ASU UREPs (University Representatives) interning with Brand Adoption this semester. They work to bring students together with local businesses in order to increase brand awareness through word-of-mouth and social media campaigns. (Photo courtesy of Brand Adoption)

For three ASU alumni, the best marketing campaign doesn’t involve million-dollar commercials or flashy billboards. Their strategy is simply talking to friends.

Last March, industrial engineering graduates Evan Rogers and Tim Holladay and marketing graduate Don May decided to build a company around an idea — something they call the “word of mouth market.”

Their company, Brand Adoption, hires college students and others around the country to conduct small marketing campaigns for corporations and businesses.

For these campaigns, the workers use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to post on their friends’ pages and send tweets about the company they are promoting. The employees will also go out on campuses, set up tables and hand out fliers for the company.

Employees are hired through the Brand Adoption’s marketing platform, University Rep. The program’s workers are known as UREPs.

“[UREP] has become extremely well received, better than we hoped,” Rogers said. “We’re trying to grow this thing and we’re really doing it through word of mouth.”

The three alumni launched UREP in October and currently have employees from 30 colleges across the country.

UREPs are awarded money depending on the amount of points they earned working on tasks, such as social media campaigns or information booths. Each task or campaign is worth a certain amount of points, and every 10 points is worth $1.

“Campaigns can be worth up to 1,000 points depending on the task,” Rogers said.

The company currently has around 400 workers and is searching for a demographic of people between the ages of 18 to 35 to become UREPs. Even with the wide age range, the job attracts mostly college students.

“At least 95 percent of our UREPs are college students working on their undergraduates,” Rogers said.

Marketing and photography senior Annie Wechter heard about Brand Adoption from her career counselor.

“I told her that I was looking for an extracurricular activity, whether that be an internship, volunteer opportunity or a club, and she referred me to Evan [Rogers],” Wechter said.

Wechter has worked for Brand Adoption as an intern for two weeks and is also a UREP.

“It’s really a fun thing to be a part of,” she said.

Brand Adoption plans to add many new features for future development.

“I think the best part about it is that it gives you an opportunity for growth … internally, professionally and personally,” business management junior Ben Levy said.

Levy is also a Brand Adoption intern and a UREP. He has been a part of the company for a few weeks and said he has enjoyed his time working with clients and on campaigns.

The concept Rogers, Holladay and May created has so far been successful in company awareness and student employment all over the nation.

“Take what you can and make it happen,” Rogers said. “In light of the circumstances around you, if you believe it, you can put it together, and here it’s happening in ASU’s backyard.”

Reach the reporter at tiffany.ngo@asu.edu