Creating brand loyalty in students

Posted: 21 Jul 2017 - 15:16
Social media
Engaging with young people before A level results day can pave the way to a lasting relationship.

An hour after Jermaine got his A level results – two As and a B, enough to get into his preferred university – he heard the front door slam. ‘Mum went straight out and bought me the laptop I’d been talking about for ages, a present for doing well in my exams.’

On the same day, Jo was celebrating her exam success on a shopping trip with friends. ‘I came home with candles, a duvet set, and cushions. I hadn’t even got accommodation sorted and I was already kitting out my future room!’

The moral of these stories? Brands should reach out to students long before freshers’ week begins. Get your campaign right, and you could attract loyal customers who’ll stick with your product or service as they graduate and start careers.  

Get the timing right

According to the NUS, a typical student spends £9.2k a year on living expenses, excluding accommodation costs. To tap into this lucrative market, brands must understand the fresher mindset. How do young people transitioning to university engage with the products and services they need – and want? And what will keep them engaged?

Timing is key: this group of consumers is yet to form unbreakable brand loyalties – a fact which marketeers know full well. In the weeks before the start of term, student advertising goes stratospheric, with ads for bank accounts, travel cards, mobile phones, and more jostling for space.

To stand out amongst the noise, brands should establish their position long before university places are confirmed and students are ticking items off their uni shopping list.

Match message to mood

Engage your audience by offering something which adds value. Young people on the cusp of university know life is about to get more exciting – and more complicated. Anything you can do to make this transition easier will be noticed and appreciated.

We worked with a student insurance company on an email campaign to encourage conversion and brand loyalty. Before results day, messaging was centred on preparation, with tips about choosing accommodation and facts about uni life.

/files/preparing-uni">Preparing for uni

Preparing for uni

The content barely mentions insurance, but positions the company as a trusted student brand. This email achieved an open rate of 43%, with a click-through rate of 5.6%.

/files/preparing-uni-2">Preparing for uni 2

Preparing for uni 2

After results day and Confirmation, students become more focused in their preparations. To complement this change in mood, we sent personalised emails congratulating recipients on getting into their specific university.

Content remained informational, but the tone was direct and product-led to encourage an upsell. Over half of all recipients opened their email, and 1.9% clicked through to the product on offer.

The outcome? By providing useful content with a message that resonated, the company built a level of trust and increased brand awareness. When it came to upselling their products, applicants already had a relationship with the brand and were more likely to click and convert.

Quality matters

Young people are adept at filtering out unwanted messages, so personalise your content and be inspiring, educational, and entertaining.

You need to give young students a reason to connect with your content and in turn, your brand. If you can build an emotional connection with your audience, you’re halfway to building trust and loyalty.

Talk to us

Our unique insight can maximise your brand campaigns. Call us on 01242 544 881 or email ucasmedia@ucas.ac.uk to find out more.

Related news