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Top Brands Effectively Reaching out to College Students

U of O students are back on campus for welcome week, and our hometown of Eugene is buzzing with school spirit and nervous excitement (Go Ducks!). One of our interns from this summer, Casey, is staying on at SheerID as a guest blogger. Woo-hoo! Keep an eye out for more insightful posts on college marketing (like this one) from the perspective of an actual student.

University of Oregon cheerleadersCollege students seem to be a relatively untapped market. Sure a few big brands try, offering various deals during back to school in the hopes of enticing shoppers, but then the deals fade and so does the effective marketing (if there was any). However some brands do offer deals year-round to college students, and some brands just make the perks and discounts so easy you can’t help but take advantage of it.

My personal favorite is the brand that not only makes life easy for me by not making me jump through hoops to prove I’m a student, but also offers a really useful deal along with it. Below are some examples on my top picks for effective campus marketing and deals, along with big brands that are correctly reaching out to college students.

Bed Bath and Beyond:

For all the nervous freshman out there moving to a new school, Bed Bath and Beyond offers an easy solution to schlepping all that new dorm furniture to another state or city. Using their Shop for College Tab online, or simply walking in to their local Bed Bath and Beyond, students can select the items they would like to purchase, and either choose an advanced ship date when they check out, or simply pick up their items packaged and ready at the store nearest to their new school. I wish I had known I didn’t have to pile all of my things into the back of a van when I was a freshman.

Banana Republic:

Did you know Banana Republic offers year-round discounts to college students? Neither did I until a few a few months ago. The rule is this: Always carry around your student ID. That piece of plastic is a golden ticket to savings, Banana Republic being no exception. Students can show their ID and receive 15 percent off their purchase. Sure that’s doesn’t amount to that much and Banana Republic can certainly be pricey, but when you have a key interview looming or a brand new internship, it’s worth it. The only thing that could make Banana Republic’s student discount better? If they offered it online!

Red Bull, HP, and Samsung:

Sure these brands might not initially seem to have a lot in common, but they certainly do one thing right, grassroots marketing. Each year I have seen at least one Red Bull, HP, or Samsung booth on campus. Red Bull is always there to hand out drinks during freshman orientation, and I saw both Samsung and HP this year allowing students to test out and play with tablets or phones. I saw plenty of students wandering over to play with fun gadgets, and that booth was definitely the main reason I knew Samsung was launching a new phone.

Of course these brands are merely a few of many promoting some useful discounts, freebies, or effective marketing to college students. The rest will be saved for a later blog post. I’ll simply leave with this: if you have a booth on campus, college students will likely remember you, if your discount only involves the need of a student ID (or easy online or mobile student verification), and it is offered year-round, students will use it, and if you’re making moving easier, you can definitely expect students to take advantage of that.

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