By Courtney Beinhaur • May 08 2013
• They have money to spend
Nearly half of all college students work. With tuition often covered by loans or parents, the money they do make is theirs to spend. They also carry plastic. 78% of students have at least one credit card. According to Sallie Mae, they are using it for more than just books: 84% of students use credit cards for food, 70% of students use cards for clothing, and 69% of students use cards for cosmetics.
• They spend a lot prepping for college
Back to school spending is expected to reach $33.7 billion according to the National Retail Federation. This may not be considered discretionary spending, but if you sell electronics, dorm supplies, apparel, shoes or school supplies you know how important this time of year is to the bottom line. Make sure you are top of mind going into this shopping blitz.
• They have time to waste
A full course load at most colleges can take up less than 15 hours a week. Even with a part time job, this still leaves students with a lot of flexibility. They are looking for ways to fill their time. They online shop, go out with their friends, and travel. In short, they have fun and spend money.
• They document every moment of their lives
Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare… the list goes on. This generation loves to talk about themselves and share their experiences. Make a good impressionand they will share it. Give them a great deal, they will share it. Sure, word of mouth is nothing new, but the word has never traveled this fast before.
• They are in the beginning of their customer-life-cycle
They are away from home, making their own purchase decisions. Whether it is which brand of spaghetti sauce to buy, which coffee shop or energy drink will get them through 4 years of mid terms and finals, what type of car they will drive or what clothes they will wear, these choices could shape spending habits for the rest of their lives. Create valuable lifelong brand loyalists by getting your brand in their decision set now.
These emerging adults have the money and freedom to start choosing which brands will lead them through college and into adulthood. Attract them now or risk losing out on a lifelong customer.