College students are an ever-fickle and ever-shifting consumer audience, but they are a vital one for your brand to target. Despite their changing opinions, media preferences, and communication styles, college students do all have one thing in common: they are shaping the world in their image. Winning over the college audience is the first step to creating life-long customers who will advocate for your brand—and offering students discounts is the way to do that. 

Luckily, for the past 30 years, we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. We’re here to tell you that marketing to college students can be done—and when it’s done right, converts this audience of young people into loyal customers for life. Here are five reasons your brand should offer student discounts. Ready to get started?

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1. Current students are your future market

While college students might not be the first target market you think of to target with your next marketing campaign, the benefits of marketing to college students might surprise you. The over 21 million college students enrolled across the country boast a whopping $593 billion in spending power—and that’s before they’ve entered the workforce full-time. 

College students are impressionable, and your brand has the opportunity to make a lasting impression. Winning over college students now is a recipe for a loyal customer base in the future. Get ahead while you can. 

Read next: The Ultimate Guide to Marketing to Gen Z

2. Students are hunting for student discounts

College students are known for their knack for finding a discount. Eighty-six percent of students have said that they would shop at their favorite stores more often if they offered student discounts. And research from Refuel’s Gen Z Explorer Series™ shows that college students are actually loyal to brands that offer discounts to students. 

Our research found that 43% of Gen Z consumers report being loyal to brands that offer student discounts, and 29% are loyal to brands that offer rewards or loyalty programs. Personalize your college marketing strategy and let your college target market know that you’re tailoring your brand just for them. 

Read next: 3 Tips to Run an On-Campus Product Sampling Campaign

3. Students are social—and will help boost your brand

Word spreads fast on a college campus. Campus living is social by definition—they’re a hub of learning, communication, and ideas. Refuel’s College Explorer Series™ found that nearly 4 out of 5 students live on or near campus, and that the average student spends 11.6 hours a day on their college campus. 

Introducing your brand to this highly social environment is a recipe for word to spread—if executed well. Creating a thoughtful, personalized, and VIP experience for college students will naturally prompt students to share their positive experience both in-person to their friends and peers and online through social media. 

Student discounts are news worth sharing. Introduce a discount in your college student marketing strategy and watch word spread. 

Read next: 5 Steps to Build A Student Brand Ambassador Marketing Program That Drives Results

4. College students want to engage with brands

Members of the Gen Z audience are always looking for the next new thing—product, food, service, platform, or trend. Discovery is the name of the game, and because of this, they actually want to be marketed to. Research shows that 64% of college students want to receive emails about student discounts, and 55% said that stores should feature student discounts prominently on their website. 

Marketing to college students helps them find the next big thing quicker: your brand. 

Read next: Your Complete Guide to On Campus Advertising to College Students

5. Student discounts are easy to implement

Verifying students’ identity and keeping track of student discounts used to be challenging, but now it’s not with SheerID. This company provides verification technology that makes offering student discounts simple, repeatable, and trackable. As Bill Schneider, VP of Product Marketing for SheerID, explains, “give your target market a seamless shopping experience, ensuring that only students are taking advantage of your student discounts. Marketers from hundreds of brands rely on SheerID to verify audiences among specific communities to ensure that only eligible consumers receive your gated and personalized offers for students.”

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How to reach college students

College students may be ever-changing, but they’re a crucial entry-point market for your brand. Luckily, reaching college students is more achievable than you might think. College students can be found on their college campuses, on social media, on their mobile phones, and with their friends. The key is tapping into these primary locations with messages that are authentic and appealing. College omnichannel solutions connect your message with 21 million entry-point college consumers—and we can help you achieve that. 

Marketing to Gen Z isn’t just important—winning over your Gen Z customers is crucial for your business’ long-term success. Luckily, understanding and influencing this customer base isn’t hard—it just takes the right marketing strategy. Contact us today to get your target Gen Z marketing plan.

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