College Insights · Article

College is a Clear Point of Market Entry for Gen Z and College Aged Consumers

March 17, 2019


Companies like Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson have successfully followed a Point of Market Entry (P.O.M.E) strategy for years. Their laser focus on consumer trigger points, such as life changes that create needs for new product categories, enables them to reach new customers who are in prime buying mode. The classic example is expectant mothers who suddenly become interested in diapers — a category that now plays an essential role in their lives. P&G and J&J reach these soon-to-be-mothers with product information and samples at the very moment they become interested in the diaper category and begin their product search.

It’s smart to reach Gen Z consumers during their college years.

Generation Z, now 23 years old and younger, wields considerable buying power – to the tune of $143 billion! Reaching this demographic during their college years as they build their adult brand relationships, can help you form lifelong relationships with this group.

Gen Z encourages and respects individualism and believes that everyone has the right to be their own person, expressing him/herself however they wish. Making personal brand decisions is an avenue of self-expression for this group and your brand can be part of this process.

How does point of entry marketing work with the college consumer?

College students experience several shifts or life changes throughout their college journey. Identifying which events are triggers for your product can be the key to efficient and cost-effective college marketing.

From college acceptance through to graduation, and all the years in between, there may be several P.O.M.E. opportunities for your product. The Barnes & Noble College marketing platform can tailor sampling programs, targeted emails, web advertising, social media and events to seamlessly execute your brand’s college strategy.

Marketers take note of these life changing events throughout the college journey.

  • First College P.O.M.E: College Acceptance

The first critical shift takes place the moment the high school senior receives his or her college acceptance letter. Our research shows that incoming freshmen immediately engage on their college social media platforms to connect with future classmates. They also start shopping in  many new categories, most where they have no prior experience. That is a P.O.M.E. for a wide range of products and services from clothing to dorm furnishings to electronics and in some cases, new cars.

  • Multiple P.O.M.E: The In-Between College 

Whether it’s move-in, orientation, homecoming, final exams, spring break or other life shifts, the college student’s journey presents many entry opportunities for brand marketers throughout the college years.

  • Final College P.O.M.E: College Graduation

Fast forward to young adults who are ready to graduate and preparing to enter the work world. Career wardrobes, apartment furnishings, banking services, insurance and autos are big items for graduates and can be P.O.M.E. for marketers of brands in those categories. And don’t forget that before new graduates settle into their new lives, they seek out travel adventures— domestic and international – opening activation opportunities for the travel and hospitality industry.

Sampling: Your brand’s entrée onto campus.

Interested in taking your brand on campus, but not sure how to go about it? Our turnkey programs can get your samples and collateral into the hands of Generation Z college students – quickly and easily.

Consider the many ways to align your sampling program with the college student’s journey. Think hand-to-hand distribution of energy bars and travel offers during final times and snack food and beverage samples on game day. Include your food product, laundry detergent, shampoo or other personal items in web order boxes. Pass out product incentives at Grad Fairs to reach seniors before they leave campus. Sampling possibilities are endless, but the setup time is not.

Barnes & Noble College makes it easy to get college students’ attention at the exact time they become your target market. Take advantage of your brand’s P.O.M.E. opportunities on campus. Connect with us today to talk about a year-long P.O.M.E. college strategy for your brand.

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