Targeting Students: Learn from Apple


There are certainly numerous reasons for Apple’s staggering success over the past few years. Great design, smart marketing, and a larger product line are merely a few. Targeting students has been a key factor as well. According to numbers from Student Monitor and Fortune, Apple has gone from a college market share in the teens to almost thirty percent, all in five years. Among students planning to buy a new computer, 47% plan to buy a Mac.

Needless to say, these are staggering numbers, but how did they do this? Apple understands the value of the college market. They have been committed to the idea that today’s savvy college students are tomorrow’s business men and women. They have also understood the importance of price differentiation. The Apple Store for Education provides college students with a discount on Apple products. Apple gets it. If the product is right and the perceived benefit is greater than the cost, well then student budgets are suddenly more flexible. Apple’s computers are significantly more expensive than Dell’s, yet they now have a greater market share.

Apple has had a loyal following for decades, but breaking into the college market is not solely a result of more accessible products, it is also a great example of smart marketing. Steve Jobs and his team understand the value of their illuminated logos. Think about it. What other group of adults spends as much time together as students? Somewhere between a 10% market share and a 27% market share there is a tipping point. Macs are all of a sudden “everywhere” and students need one. Word of mouth is crucial.

Bottom line

Apple has successfully taken a big bite of the college market. They have done it with great products, smart marketing, price differentiation, but most importantly, by recognizing the importance of the college market. It’s different and it needs its own strategy. So what’s your college marketing strategy? Are students talking about your products? Let us help you start a fire.

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