How Student Unions can create an impact with Merchandise
Freshers' fayres attract university students of all educational levels, not just the first years!
Promotional products reinforce the key values of your Student Union and builds on your university's values and serves as a useful reminder of your campaign, as well as reminding the recipient of the services your Student Union provides.
Branded confectionery, promotional pens, branded wristbands, printed notebooks, posters and a lot of other things that students don’t necessarily need but want has a powerful impact on building a relationship between your university's brand and the student.
According to a report published by NUS on the "Success in the Student Market", students can be divided into four different groups. These are; SU Ambassadors, Mature Students, Typical Students, and Disengaged Students.
Freshers’ fayres are mainly targeted at two of these groups – the typical and the disengaged students. The main difference between the two is that the typical student will actively engage with their SU whereas the disengaged student will not. However, a Freshers’ Fayre attracts students from both groups as it offers them an incentive.
The disengaged students will mainly be interested in the freebies, whereas the typical student will benefit from both your brand and your giveaways by gaining an understanding of how the services your student union offers will benefit their journey through higher education.
Your aim is to break down the barrier and turn both types of student into regular users of the services Student Unions provide.
1: Stand Out - Be bright, be bold, be brilliant!
Students, especially freshers’, are hungry for new products and services – something that has the WOW! factor.
Studies have shown that purple and orange are the two colours that instantly draw attention, but as a leading promotional product supplier we understand that those colours may not reflect your university's personality. Using the colours from your university's colour palette and branding guidelines will really capture the ethos of your university and generate excitement.
Here are some popular Freshers' Fayre ideas:
2: Be Practical - Think! What do they WANT?
Tailoring your promotional giveaways to suit the needs of the students as well as providing a functional value will ensure that your promotional products are used on a regular basis.
According to the NUS report (detailed above), students are “ego-centric”, which means that they focus predominantly on their personal needs and university experience. They regard socialising as the “basic element of the student lifestyle” and a large proportion of their income goes towards funding activities such as nights out, alcoholic beverages, eating out and keeping up with the latest trends.
Another aspect to consider is that for a majority of students it's their first time living away from home. Incorporate useful products such as our branded pizza cutter, bottle opener and promotional calendar fridge magnets into your giveaways to ensure they will be used again and again. Other items such as printed cotton shoppers and branded water bottles are other "student life" essentials that are durable and reusable.
3: Engage - Host a Competition!
Competitions generate great engagement with students, whether they’re online or not. By conducting your own contest at a Freshers’ Fayre, you’re encouraging interaction with your Student Union.
Setting rules such as "follow us on Twitter and tweet us using a certain hashtag", or "give us your email and we’ll enter you into a prize draw to win a specific product" will benefit your campaign and is guaranteed to generate a lot more attention.
Promotional products are great prizes for these types of contests as they will constantly remind the winner of your university.
Have you tried high tech promotional items such as branded speakers? They have a higher perceived value and are in high demand, especially among students! Plus, they're a useful and practical product that will be kept for years to come.
With the help of promotional products, marketing to students has never been so simple and effective. University merchandise ensures that your student union stands out and the practicality of the products provide consistent engagement, not only during Freshers' but for the duration of their studies. This leads to the student having more of an incentive to connect with the Alumni department once they've graduated.