How Do College Students “Connect” with Brands?

27 Jan

Marketers today recognize the enormous buying power of college students and very much want to gain their attention and patronage. But are marketers able to “connect” with college students through media channels which they most favor?

As eMarketer puts it:

“Amid their interest in millennials, marketers look to the 19 million-plus U.S. college students as an audience worth courting. After all, it is a mostly millennial subset that already deploys considerable spending power and (with degree in hand) will be poised to outearn and outspend noncollege millennials for decades to come, according to a new eMarketer report, ‘U.S. College Students 101: Updating Fundamental Facts About This Diverse, Digital Cohort.’”

“Regardless of medium, advertising is just one of many influences on students’ purchase decisions, and not the most important. When an August 2014 Fluent study asked students to say what shapes their back-to-school purchase decisions, the top of the list was populated by peer opinion and money-saving offers.”

Click the chart to read more.


8 Responses to “How Do College Students “Connect” with Brands?”

  1. Lindsay Levine February 3, 2015 at 12:03 am #

    After working in a retail store (Hollister) for over a year, this article makes complete sense. Oftentimes my managers at my retail store would make us advertise the store on our Instagram accounts by taking a picture on the front porch and around the store and hash-tagging the store number and the deals going on in the store in the comment section. Since most of the workers were in college, a lot of college and high school students would come into the store and buy clothes because of our Instagram and social media posts. Our store made more money by doing this. As a college student, I often look to my friends and peers to see what is in style and what clothes to buy and by this form of advertising, “word-of mouth” according to the article, is really influential considering that 48% of students shop this way. Regarding the coupons that get sent to your phone from stores, I am a part of the 65% that receive them and the 70% that hate them. Oftentimes stores send you more than one text a week talking about their “sales” which gets annoying because they accumulate quickly and no one in college really has the time or money to go shopping multiple times a week.

  2. Logan Diamond February 3, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    There are a variety of ways to be able to have a brand to be able to connect. The ideas above are some great marketing strategies, but I believe the best way is simply seeing a celebrity wear it. Once, someone famous endorses a brand I believe a lot of loyal followers, will join and wear whatever this icon suggests.

  3. Anthony Ramdhani February 3, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    I suppose this post and chart affirms the fact that marketers should treat their customers right. Considering that “word-of-mouth” advertising is the most effective marketing plan, companies should focus on their customer/guest services rather than spamming the e-mail boxes of its consumers. I am more likely to suggest shopping at a store I was happy with rather than one with an unsatisfactory experience.

  4. Meredith O'Connor February 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    I feel that companies should use platforms like instagram, fb, twitter int he ways mentioned. It will get their network of people aware of the brand, hence bringing in new customers. People with larger followings do add more value to their promotions.

  5. Stephanie Coda February 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    I agree that most college students rely on word of mouth and deals. Many college students do not have jobs so saving money any way they can is what most students will aim for. I would rather look around and wait for a deal than spend money I need for necessities. Companies using instagram, facebook, or twitter may have a short term affect on students buying products but in the long run word of mouth and deals will keep them as customers, especially if they are treated well and enjoy the product.

  6. Henan Hou (Hester) March 22, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    The power of social media plays a significant role in this modern world. College students like me are get used to the popular social media tool like twitter, Facebook and etc. We love discussing the fashion trends via social media and pay attention to other students’ clothes. I will be more inclined to shop those brands that favored by my peers.

  7. Zan Sheikh March 22, 2015 at 5:07 pm #

    After looking at that graphic I wasn’t surprised to notice that the most influential of all was the one to one friends recommendation. I working at a small retail pharmacy notice that the most effective marketing tool is word of mouth. If my customers are very satisfied with the services at my store and they tell a few close friends about us, it means more than if someone from the store was to tell them. Friends recommendations are extremely valuable.

  8. Anthony Imperato March 30, 2015 at 10:42 pm #

    It does not surprise me that one to one recommendations from friends is at the top of the list. I know from personal experience that I always look into brands that my friends say that I would like, and I usually do buy into them. Plus, we don’t even need to say it in person anymore (sad to say, but its true), we can just as easily tag them in a tweet of the brand or in a post on Facebook and they can look into the brand even more that way and find something they like. Especially being college students of this day, we are all obsessed with social media and that is a huge way we find out about brands and why we buy them as well.

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