Many colleges started class back this week and with the another school year beginning comes another crop of freshmen, the latest addition to the seemingly ever-present market that’s become more and more focused upon in the age of the smart phone and social network – the college undergrad.
With little income (save for Daddy’s credit card in some instances), one has to wonder how the college undergrad became such a big target for advertisers and marketers. Surely some of the attention has come as a result of Facebook and the rise of other social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn.
Was the undergrad demographic first thrust into the spotlight with the introduction of Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook? After all, when the then-Harvard undergrad launched the site he focused solely on college students before moving onto bigger and better things.
Perhaps the relationship between companies and college students is more of a two-way street than it might appear. A piece in the Wall Street Journal this past April explained how many college undergrads are ever eager for the chance to work as a brand ambassador for a company.
Students earn neither cash nor college credit. Instead, ambassadors say they garner a different type of currency: résumé fodder. Many “ambassador programs” are modeled after those run for decades by music labels in which students got free records and cassettes in exchange for splaying posters around bars and libraries promoting album releases and concerts.
So say you can’t any campus ambassadors on board, how do you tap into the elusive penny pinching, impressionable decision maker that is the 18-22 year-old college student? Geoff Williams over at Entrepreneur has a pretty spot on list of five things you can do to endear your brand to Johnny Freshman.