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This teaching and learning pedagogy paper demonstrates how group brands were used as interdisciplinary teaching tools in marketing, business, research, and social science classes by applying theories of branding, collaborative learning, affinity, and social identity in experiential learning. There were two primary reasons why this project was done. First, implementing a pedagogical tool would bring students together in a collaborative team over the period of a semester gaining a critically important business tool; the requirement of working in teams and networked relationships. Second, by enriching the curriculum of business marketing and social science courses through incorporating a semester long term-based project would improve student learning. The two year study integrated group branding with a student affinity project completed in the classroom. Each collaborative group was to design a brand to represent themselves including name, logo, colors, motto, and rationale. The project demonstrates how group dynamics and affinity are used effectively in tremendously diverse New York City classrooms to overcome tribalism to build collaborative learning communities. It was especially effective with urban commuter students as social bridge-builders of difference bringing together both first and second language learners, students from similar neighborhoods, ethnic traits and cultures, and other commonalities.



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