Brand building should start with students

[4 December] For some brands, reaching 18-21-year olds is top of the agenda. Tech companies, employers and fast-food brands tend to have a focus on students, encouraging them to part with their student loans. However, for long-term brand building, Gen Z are a core audience that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Dig-In is a partner to 185 universities and HE colleges, reaching close to 500,000 students every year, connecting brands to Gen Z. In September alone, they delivered over 5 million samples, and received over 1 million survey responses through the app.

Brand new consumers

Students arrive to university as fresh faced 18-year olds, often living away from home for the first time. This effectively makes them a brand-new consumer, yet to form brand relationships and often in a more open mindset to trying new brands. The element of financial independence makes the brand connection even stronger as they move away from their parents’ brand choice. 77% of students arrive to university having never bought their own household products, and 80% buy different brands to their parents.

Dig-In found that 81% of freshers were willing to try new brands, compared to 63% of graduates. Forging long lasting brand associations and winning over younger consumers is key to building a future customer base.

Students seek brand experiences

With 2020 effectively written off, students are keen to experience real-life engagement, with 80% missing brand experiences. Brand sampling is also key to swaying students in their decision making, with 95% more likely to purchase if they receive a sample item.

Brands across the board should consider students a relevant target audience, forging strong associations from a young age will be key to maintaining buying habits well into adulthood.