Category Archives: Brand Engagement
When I was a college student at FSU, there was an art exhibit on campus that garnered a lot of attention. It was a confession booth where students would go and write their secrets anonymously. Later the artist would read the secrets and display them to the community in an effort to raise awareness about the inner struggles students face on campus and to show students they’re not alone. It’s very similar to Candy Chang’s interactive artist installation in Las Vegas.
This FSU art project attracted students’ attention on campus. People were curious about the confession booth and what it represented. Many students enjoyed participating and writing their secrets down, and both active participants and non-participants, found peoples’ stories and secrets fascinating and felt an emotional connection with their peers as a result.
Creative college marketing campaigns focus on meaningful engagements, incorporate images that covey emotions, and provide a consistent message across mediums.
It may seem today that creativity in college marketing has been replaced with text messages, tweets and short online ads—the types of advertising that this demographic is mostly likely to ignore and dislike! While there is a certainly a place for mobile and online advertising it needs to be done in a thoughtful, interactive way. Young people have shortened attention spans and tons of advertising vying for their attention, across mediums, so it’s extremely important for brands to communicate their story in creative, personal ways.
Think print advertising is dead? Think again. Print advertising, when used in innovative ways, can leave quite the impression and encourage meaningful engagement. From billboards to magazine ads, there are a lot of different print ads out there, vying for people’s attention. One way to stand out among the clutter is to use ad mediums that aren’t commonly used; this will attract notice and draw attention to your brand.
1. Make a Statement with Wild Postings
Recruit new members to your organization or cause through on-campus advertising! Learn different ways to recruit new members on college campuses.
There are many student organizations on campus for students to join and participate in. The best way to bring awareness of your organization to the student body and attract new members is through on campus advertising. It is important to try and get new members as early as possible and at the collegiate level. If a person joins an organization or club in college, they are more likely to support that organization and its values later in life.
For example, if your campus organization is part of a larger nationwide organization, the students can still continue to be involved later in life. It is essential that your organization recruit members early if it is involved in some kind of cause, such as advocating for human rights or the environment, advocating for immigrant and refugee rights, campus ministry and faith outreach, or even a political organization or cause. This is important because once a person is involved in an organization they take in the values of that organization and will continue to practice them after college.
The holiday season is a big time for candy and chocolate companies. After all, what would Halloween be like without trick-or-treaters, Christmas without fudge and candy canes, and Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Links between candy and holidays are forever ingrained in the consumer mindset; they have become part of the national consciousness, incorporated into holiday celebrations, and integrated into family traditions.
In my last blog, Marketing Fashion to the Youth, Part 1, I discussed how ideas of fashion and exclusivity are changing due to shifting consumer values, especially among the youth. In this blog I want to discuss why fashion matters to the youth and explore youth marketing strategies brands can use to appeal to college students and teens.
Fashion is a major form of self expression for the youth. Through clothing and accessories people can express their individuality. Leandra Medine, author of the Man Repeller fashion blog, explains why you choose to don certain items: “You’re wearing it because you bought it because you loved it because in some distant Cosmo, it represented a piece of who you are. Or at the very least, who you want to be.”
Co-creation marketing allows consumers to contribute new content that shapes brand identity in conjunction with brand generated content. This can be hair raising for brands, as they’re relinquishing some of their control to their consumers. However, co-creation will happen whether a brand officially encourages it or not and those brands that choose to embrace co-creation marketing techniques will reap the rewards, especially when marketing to the youth.
Experiential marketing and event marketing campaigns engage students and allow them to partake in the brand experience. These approaches will enable students to connect with your brand and form positive associations with your product.
Innovative snack companies and brands are turning towards college experiential marketing and college event marketing in lieu of more traditional marketing approaches when advertising to students. Many consumers, especially millennials, want to connect and engage with brands. By using unconventional marketing channels, you allow consumers to not only experience your brand but to add to the brand experience. This is important “as millennials feel a sense of co-ownership towards brands and products.” Your brand will capture students’ attention and gain consumer loyalty through engagement and interaction.
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: