How to Market to College Students with Promo Items, Part 2

Welcome to the second part of my blog post about marketing to college students! Thanks for coming back to read more, and please feel free to comment at any time. In this part, I would like to suggest a few more rules that could help you successfully market to college kids with promotional products (without scaring them off)!

You can read my rule #1, “If You Want Students to Give You Accurate Information, Then You Need to Give Them Something in Return,” by checking out my previous blog post!

Rule #2: NEVER Distribute Flyers or Disposable Promotional Items

Why, you ask? Because students will just throw them away. Disposable promo items like wrapped chocolates or candies, mints, moist towlettes, and flyers are awesome advertising tools when in the correct context, but they are not ideal for college kids. Do you want to know what most students will do if you hand them flyers? They’ll say thanks, stuff them in their backpacks, and then forget about them. If your goal is to create awareness of your brand and to generate interest in your products or services, then you need to provide students with promotional items they’ll keep for a longer period of time and actually USE! Promotional pens will do the trick, but I’d recommend using more distinguishable products that will make you stand out from your competitors. For an effective giveaway item at virtually the same price as an imprinted pen, try a carabiner clip or a stadium cup.

Promotional item and/or gift suggestions: carabiner clips, frisbees, stadium cups, flashlight keychains

Rule #3: Think like a College Student

If you want to find promotional items to target toward students, then you have to think like them; most won’t have a use for promotional items like leather briefcases or scenic wall calendars. A bottle opener keychain is usually a safe choice for older students (whether you want to believe it or not!) and I’d also recommend weekly planners for students of all ages. Think about it: a lot of college kids like to party, so the bottle opener keychain would come in handy more than once…and pretty much all college kids like to save money on school supplies, so the weekly planners would be much appreciated! Besides, do you know how much planners cost in school bookstores? Outrageous!

Would you like to know about another commonly-purchased (and valued) item that practically every college student brings to class on a daily basis? COFFEE MUGS! Those 8:00 a.m. classes can be brutal, and nothing prepares sleep-deprived 20-somethings like caffeine. Customize an inexpensive but durable travel mug like the X-One Mug if you prefer plastic, or try the Stainless Steel Trip Mug for an affordable metal container. I can almost guarantee that either of those mugs would be a huge hit on college campuses!

Promotional item and/or gift suggestions: bottle opener keychains, weekly planners, coffee mugs, printed t-shirts

Rule #4: Keep Your Sales Pitch Short and Simple

This rule is self-explanatory. College students are often hurrying to class, running to grab lunch between 10 or 15 minute breaks, or cramming for next period’s test. If you have a sales pitch for your company in addition to your promo items, then you need to make it brief; otherwise, students will just walk away and waste your efforts!

Do you have any more rules to add to this post? Was this information helpful to you? Let me know by commenting! Thank you for reading the Quality Logo Products® blog, and don’t forget to interact with us on Twitter and Facebook as well. Have a great day!

Jill Tooley

Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.


  1. Valenta

    Very good guide to promoting the college and can be beneficial and helpful marketing strategy. Thanks a lot.

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