Freshers’ week – 135% increase in spend for hundreds of thousands of students

Posted: 9 Jul 2018 - 09:26
Freshers' week UCAS Media blog
Freshers’ week [noun] – synonymous with new friends, freedom, and according to our latest research a first week spending spree. What can you do to connect with students in this crucially transitional period?

In short, a lot.

Students spend an average of £374 during freshers’ week, 135% more than an average weekly spend at university of £159. Freshers’ week gives brands the opportunity to target an individual segment of the market when it’s open to new ideas, and willing to invest.

We asked 11,500 students to tell us about their habits, preferences, and spending patterns in the UCAS Media student lifestyle report. Whilst assumptions might suggest that freshers’ week spend is just on nights out and alcohol, in fact books and clothes (£69 each), groceries (£44), homeware (£42), and eating out (£33), all have a healthy share of the spend.

Utilising insights from our lifestyle reports – for example we know that males spend much more on clothing than females do in freshers’ week – marketers can plan their product development and campaigns to deliver maximum impact, in a week where £65m will be spent by students across the country. 

Big spenders but also steadfast, we know students are loyal to brands they develop relationships with, bolstering the importance for marketers to build awareness and secure students for freshers’ week and beyond. Students are most loyal to technology brands, and least loyal to supermarkets, but around 70% of students are loyal to a single brand per product in homeware, health and beauty, fashion, and sportwear. 

Building these relationships pre-freshers’ week not only gives brands a heightened chance of acquiring new customers when they’re at their most lavish. It also establishes the opportunity to capitalise on those 30% of students who spend more than £2,000 during their first term, and the 24% who maximise their disposable income using credit cards and overdrafts.

Get ahead in the race to capture student interest – plan your marketing campaign now.

For more information on any aspect of this report, or to find out how we can connect your brand to this important audience, please get in touch.

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