Should small brands market to students?
You may be thinking that targeting students is only for big brands and high-street names, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Regardless of your size, structure or your brands longevity, if you have a product that you believe will appeal to this growing demographic, you need to draw them in!
Students love small businesses. The Millennial generation have made this very clear. Compared with generations before them, this demographic have been seen to champion, indulge in and be increasingly gracious to todays small businesses (Segal, 2017).
But why exactly do students back these businesses and brands?
Location, Location, Location
You may be thinking that when it comes to location the only reasons students like to shop locally is out of convenience, think again. Contrary to their outdated ‘come and go’ reputation, students today have a strong sense of community, and more than ever before like to feel a connection to the products and services they purchase.
We won’t deny that convenience doesn’t still play a part in their purchasing decision, but their sense of community is now a large driving factor. It is the desire to be a part of this student neighbourhood that is the reason they’ll consider spending that little bit more at the shop down the road, rather than the cheaper chain store choice!
An added bonus of this local student spending is that the money is kept within the community. “Studies show that when you buy from an independent, locally-owned business, more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses” (SustainableConnections, 2016). Encouraging students to invest in your small business is therefore not only beneficial to you, but their spending will continue to strengthen the economic base of the area you live in.
Customisation is key
By now it’s no secret that students are drawn to anything that can be customised or personalised, and even though they are, students don’t want to feel like just one of the masses. Their desire to feel uniquely targeted and to have their voices heard while shopping is continually on the increase. This is where customisation is key, and this is also where smaller businesses excel!
When you’re a smaller business it’s unlikely you’re producing your products on a mass market scale, therefore you can afford to get personal. What better way to encourage students to buy your product than to show them it was designed just for them!
Getting behind a cause
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, students love nothing more than getting behind a brand with a cause at its heart, and let’s be honest, if you’re a small business you’re bound to have one of those!
However, if you don’t have a cause or message behind your business, it’s not too late to get one! Big brands are no longer afraid to wade into controversial topics, debates and conversations, so you shouldn’t be either! With today’s student population feeling empowered with a stronger sense of influence and pride they are now on the lookout for new, upcoming and most importantly, smaller businesses and brands that promote a positive message that can be championed among their peers.
Want to know more on how you can target the student market? Get in touch with our team