2017 was a year of trials and tribulations for the UK student population, from budgeting to brexit and blowouts to back to basics, we’ve identified the key changes of the previous year that are starting to shape the behaviour of UK’s future workforce.
Becoming a voice within the crowd
Well and truly a year of great debates. Everyone became a politician and everyone weighed in on issues around the world (whether they were relevant to them or not) and students were no exception. Realising that they are the voice that will one day shape the future of those to come, the Millennial generation became more vocal than ever before, with 2018 set to see their voices heard by an even larger crowd.
Millennials now feel accountable for many issues in both their close environment and the wider world around them, now taking their new found sense of leadership to university and the workplace (Deloitte, 2017).
Being a brand with a cause at it’s heart is now more appealing to the student market than ever before, striving to make an impact and seeking out the opportunities to be part of a cause, great or small. Students are feeling empowered with a stronger sense of influence and pride, on the lookout for brands to champion and share the same messages of positivity and acceptance that are now so poignant in their lives.
Stay straight talking, it really is that simple
2017 saw students start to place a higher value on transparency and straight talking language. For a lot of Millennials it was a year of being forced to read between the lines, resulting in many brands being called out for trying to tiptoe around a subject or issue.
The 2018 student is no longer interested in hidden messages, ‘what you see is what you get’ has become the new essential must, with students now on the lookout for brands that they can take at face value and that deliver what they promise. However, students aren’t necessarily on the lookout for these brands that target only them, instead they are praising brands that promote inclusivity and acceptance, simply and clearly. This isn’t to say that students will no longer appreciate special offers and promotions aimed at their cohort, but if the overall brand excludes or passes over those that don’t fall within a certain bracket, they are now less likely to champion it.
We’re all ears
It’s time to stop talking and start listening. You may think that you know what students want, but with their motives and mentalities constantly changing you now need to involve them in the conversation every step of the way. Students don’t want to be told what they want, they want to tell you what they want.
It’s now ok to question students motives and views, they are passionate, proud and want to share this information with you. With students seeking every opportunity to contribute where they can, why wouldn’t you take advantage of reaching out to this invaluable insight, but remember, don’t talk at them, don’t talk for them, talk with them.
For 2018 it is essential that brands take note of this and stay in tune with their student audience, after all we know they have the power to make or break a brand.
Deloitte. (2107). The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017. Available: https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html. Last accessed 23rd Jan 2018.
To find out how BAM can help you understand the market and gain key insights, get in touch with the team today.