Authenticity is Key in College Marketing

Authenticity is Key in College Marketing

Reaching college students on campus is all about being creative and true to your brand and not presenting yourself as something you are not. Authenticity is key in college marketing.

College students are a savvy group attuned to trends ranging from technology and social media to the clothing and entertainment; they are no different when it comes to marketing messages and brand distinction.  College students, generally speaking, are cynical toward ‘Corporate America’ and often times are quick to critique as brands try to court them as consumers.

In Sharalyn Hartwell’s recent article, Above All Else, Be Authentic, published by MediaPost, she makes some good points to brands planning a college marketing strategy from a branding and messaging standpoint.  She says:

“To be authentic about yourself, remain true to what your brand represents. For example if you’re a luxury brand, own it. Don’t try to appeal to the masses by talking about price point. Talk about your value. Be forthright about your goals and intentions, don’t try to mask them.”

The main theme of her opinion is to be who you are, make your case in a straight forward and creative way and let the consumer make the decision.  Especially among college students, if there is even a hint of misrepresentation, credibility is lost or at the very least, puts you at a disadvantage.

Branding is only the first step in the college marketing process.  Once you put together a message and branding strategy, the next step that can gain you some points among the college student demographic is in the way you reach them.  Staying on the theme of college student’s general distrust of corporate America and its marketing efforts, it’s imperative to realize that students rely on each other in terms of recommendations before making a purchase.  That is why we have spent the last 15 years developing and perfecting the most extensive network of college student brand ambassadors in which we manage on behalf of our clients to sell your message on campus among their peers.

Brand authenticity, along with college brand ambassadors, college posters, college door hangers and organic social media strategies, provides the optimal balance of programs in making your case as to why college students should choose your brand over your competitor. Visit our website at

Click on the following link to read Sharalyn Hartwell’s article, Above All Else, Be Authentic

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