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News - College Campuses Go Corporate

Sep/2011

13

College Campuses Go Corporate

 The welcome wagons at several college campuses are turning corporate these days.  Over the past few years, several major retailers are utilizing college campuses across the nation to assist their marketing team with brand awareness.

Who better to come to the rescue than college students, a group that spent approximately $36 billion on clothing, computers and cell phones in the 2010-2011 school year alone?  This knowledge has let retailers such as American Eagle Outfitters to recruit “campus evangelists” to come to their aide.  These brand ambassadors are particularly noticeable during move-in days across the nation, when you can see students advocating for various businesses by wearing clothing gear, passing out coupons or distributing water bottles and pens. 

The benefit for retailers? Simple…word of mouth.  Who knows college kids better than other college kids? The benefit for students? Swag, cash, job experience or all three. 

Companies as big as Microsoft to as small as your local burger joint are increasingly seeking out stand-out students on campus to spread the word to their peers about products and/or services for various companies nation-wide. 

Alex Stegall, a Junior at University of North Carolina, stated, “We are the people that understand what things the students will be open to. It’s marketing for the students, by the students”.

“Traditional marketing techniques, like national advertising campaigns on MTV or in Rolling Stone, don’t resonate with college students the way they used to”, says Matt Britton, Chief Executive of Mr. Youth, a marketing agency in Manhattan.

While one may question the validity of a college student’s determination on what a good brand is and isn’t, the credibility of what they want and the spending power they have is unarguable.

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