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BizReport : Research archives : December 22, 2008

Report: Profiling college spenders

Their parents and grandparents may be cutting back but according to a recent report from Alloy Media & Marketing and Harris Interactive college students continue to buy. Researchers found that the 13-plus million college students in the US (aged 18 - 30) will spend more than $230 billion in 2008, a 20% increase year over year.

by Kristina Knight

alloymm.gifWhat is the profile of these big spenders? The age range is noted above and the student population isn't segmented according to race; so really their profile is based on what they spend and where. What is clear is that these consumers are 'greenies' and they are brand loyal. This year researchers also found that these students are concerned with the social responsibility levels of their favorite brands and products (41% vs. 37%); that is an increase of nearly 25% since the 2006 study.

"Perception of social responsibility remains critical to garnering college students' brand loyalty. In current collegiate environment it is very cool to be 'good'. Brands who enable college students to reflect their own social responsibility by association have an advantage", said Samantha Skey, EVP, Alloy Media + Marketing. "Although most students are judging corporate social responsibility via advertising and branding, they are quick to castigate the brands who they believe are not authentically and consistently committed."

These students also know the power of their influence. They are likely to blog, tell friends and family and try to influence strangers to vote as they do, purchase products they purchase and boycott companies they boycott.

One this is quite interesting: though these students have plenty of cash, they are thrifty with what they spend. Students want good deals, are responsive to product samples and are likely to respond to cause marketing.

Tags: Alloy Media & Marketing, college demographic, green, online marketing, online spending

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