The last thing on the mind of a typical college freshman is traditional media. College students are focused on moving into their first dorm room, organizing their class schedules or trying to find out about the best parties.  But college students represent a unique and valuable market, so many companies have to figure out new and innovative ways to reach them.
Take, for example, Freshman Move-In day at West Virginia University.  Many students were assisted with movers from the car to the dorm room, all courtesy of American Eagle.  They were also given free AE flip-flops and a 15% off store coupon.  American Eagle understands that, in order to reach the college students who are wary of traditional marketing, thinking outside the box is critical.
Companies use varying strategies to market to college students.  Social Media is a great go-to tool for marketing to the college crowd, since many live on their laptops or cell phones.  Facebook and Twitter accounts are used across the board for product updates and exposure. Brands can have specific student-only Facebook groups and issue coupons on the network.  Also, many mobile games and phone apps as well as text message updates are being used by companies like Zipcar or Red Bull.  Others, like Hewlett-Packard, market by campus.
Red Bull’s marketing chief Amy Taylor spoke specifically about how important college students are to their company. “[College life is] made up of five main activities: study, work, play, party and, if there’s time, sleep. Our product can help with four of those five.”
So how do home and building brands reach this young adult population? Though college students may not have a want nor need for such products in dorm rooms or university-provided apartments, they make up the largest population most likely to purchase in the upcoming years. Not only is this group likely to have the most money in the near future, but they’ll be investing in homes – both as new home owners or via remodeling projects. Exposing your company and product through marketing home products now will likely create brand recognition in the future.