Marketing to Millennials? Check out favorite finds for college marketing.

Enterprise CarShare Offers Great Discounts at BNC Bookstore Events

Millennial Research from Barnes & Noble College (BNC), indicates that college students are the next generation of car buyers and influencers. This Spring, Enterprise CarShare is connecting with students, on campus, at Barnes & Noble College bookstore locations in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Massachusetts, and educating students about the automotive options that are available to them.

Car sharing is a great, economical alternative to car ownership, and a great fit for busy students on a budget. Enterprise CarShare has programs based in local communities, that allow members to reserve a car by the hour, for one inclusive price. Vehicles can be used by the hour, or can be held overnight, giving students greater flexibility with their rental, and greater affordability. Enterprise CarShare offers a wide variety of vehicles, including hybrids, electric cars, pick-up trucks, and fuel efficient sedans, which allows students to experience the look and feel of different car models. Millennial Research from BNC indicates that in-person, brand experience with a car brand significantly increases the likelihood of purchase in the future. Seventy percent (70%) of our college student respondents said they were more likely to buy a car that they have had interaction with on the road. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of our respondents said they likely will purchase a car within the next five years.

Enterprise CarShare members pay one hourly rate, that includes all fuel costs, damage/liability protection, and 24/7 assistance. Finally, unlike traditional car rental companies, students only have to be 21 years old to be a member. What a great option for students to consider! Click here to read more.

Marketing to Millennials? Check out favorite finds for college marketing.

Emory University’s Entrepreneur Students Learn the Importance of Doing Good

In an effort to encourage and support student entrepreneurs from all academic backgrounds on campus, Emory University has created the Emory Entrepreneurship Ecosystem  Living Lab Speaker Series.  This program is designed to highlight the issues student entrepreneurs care most about, from business planning to marketing, and increasingly, sustainability.  The group recently invited Barnes & Noble College Vice President of General Merchandise and Store & Design Construction, Joel Friedman, to talk about sourcing and procurement, and how Barnes & Noble College aligns those functions with their corporate social responsibility policies.  Friedman believes that sourcing materials and merchandise in ethical ways  is good business, and Emory student entrepreneurs agree.  ” It is a broad positive message that I’m always hearing  from students – they want to be successful, but they also want to do well by doing good.,” says Eric Bymaster, Associate Vice President Finance & Administration Campus Life at Emory University.  Click here to read more.

Brand Loyalty and Millennial Customers

How to Build a Lasting Relationship with Millennial Customers 

Cultivating Brand Loyalty through Social Media


Every lasting relationship is built on a foundation of trust, mutual give-and-take, respect and good communication.  In today’s world, consumer relationships can be just as strong or as fragile as personal relationships.   As companies try to position themselves to build strong relationships with millennial customers and cultivate brand loyalty, perhaps the most important revelation is that millennials are accustomed to personalized messages, instantaneous responses, and a genuine, ongoing dialogue with the brands that they support.


If companies want to reach millennial customers successfully and increase brand loyalty, here are some interesting statistics that they must consider:[i]

  • Millennial customers (age 17 – 34) will spend more than $200 billion annually, beginning in 2017, and over $10 trillion in their lifetimes.[ii]
  • They develop strong brand loyalty, early.  70% say they always buy brands they love.
  • 77% say they choose brands differently than their parents
  • 62% will try a new brand based on value and price
  • 35% will try a new brand based on quality
  • 45% say digital ads used with traditional ads are equally or more effective in influencing their brand decisions than either ad type alone
  • 78% believe brands must work harder to earn their loyalty than they did for their parents


Throughout history, consumers have always given feedback about the products they buy, and their purchasing experience.  Today, thanks to social media and its global following, millennial customers are able to amplify their opinions and experiences on a grand scale, to a larger population that extends well beyond their immediate family and friends.  Millennials crave an outlet for self-expression and they have learned how to leverage tools that allow them to channel their opinions.[iii]  Their insights carry a tremendous amount of weight with the larger consumer audience, regardless of age or income.  Their influence is palpable.


Therefore, the way that brands handle their conversations online will directly influence their financial success with millennials, and will determine the level of customer loyalty that they win from this key demographic. [iv]


As industry leaders in Millennial Marketing, BNCM wanted to get the real “Beat on the Street”, so we reached out to one of our students, Sophomore, Sydnie Julien, a Chemistry/Pre-Pharmacy major at Xavier University, to get her thoughts on how companies can be successful in building brand loyalty with her generation.


How important is it to you to be able to engage with brands online?

In terms of social media, I am a moderate user.  I primarily use Instagram to follow topics that I am interested in, like fashion, and I use Snapchat to keep in touch with friends.  I’m not one to post comments or complaints online, but I do read the comments that others post online.  These posts can definitely have an effect on me and what I buy.


What are the kinds of things that brands can do to get your attention as a consumer, and keep it?

I like to support brands that really make the effort to get to know their customers, and reward those customers for their loyalty.  Listening to customers and responding to their questions or comments is a big part of providing great customer service.  The brands that can do this well, have a much better chance of holding onto me as a customer and having me give my recommendations to a wider audience.


I also like companies that give back to their communities, and try to make a positive difference.  The first example that comes to my mind is a company like Starbucks, which supports fair trade and sustainably sourced products, as well as energy conservation and recycling.


What kind of things make you want to try a new product or brand?

When my friends recommend something, I will usually check it out, and oftentimes, I will try it, or buy it.  My friends know what I like, and vice-versa.  I trust their opinions and feedback.  Once they suggest something, I am also the type of person that will go online to check-out reviews on the internet, and on social media.  It helps to give me a preview of the positive or negative experiences that other people have had with a product or a place.


What turns you off of a particular product or brand?

I really hate when brands bombard me with constant ads, emails and posts.  It is annoying.  It feels forced and unnatural.  If brands think that they will win new customers by trying to saturate their audience with information, I actually think it has the opposite effect.  Personally speaking – I tune them out.  I like to learn about new things, but I like to do it at my own pace and on my terms.


ABOUT Sydnie


I am a second year Chemistry Pre-Pharmacy major at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans. I hope to become a pharmacist someday, and then get my masters degree.  Eventually I would like to work as a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry in Washington D.C. After that, I would like to go back and teach Chemistry at my old high school in New Orleans. I currently enjoy helping my parents with advertising and marketing ideas for their engineering company. I have worked for Barnes & Noble College for almost a year and I love interacting with customers.  I have gained a great deal of knowledge and experience by being a bookseller. I am an avid participant in my local church and I’m active in student government.  I love the world of politics. In my spare time, I volunteer at my local SPCA helping to comfort animals that are in desperate need of care and affection.  I also love to spend time playing with my own puppy, Sugar Mae. I like football, basketball, swimming, cheerleading, and traveling to my favorite place in the whole world – New York City!


[i] “The Secrets to Winning Millennials’ Brand Loyalty.” – Yahoo. Trends, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

[ii] Nelson, Erin Mulligan. “Millennials Want to Party With Your Brand But On Their Own Terms.” Advertising Age DigitalNext RSS. Advertising Age, 2 Aug. 2012. Web.

[iii] Petro, Greg. “Millennial Engagement And Loyalty — Make Them Part Of The Process.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 21 Mar. 2013. Web.

[iv] Ibid

Marketing to Millennials? Check out favorite finds for college marketing.

Rooted Beauty Educates Millennials about Natural Skincare Products and A Powerful Cause

Natural Skincare Products + A Powerful Cause = Rooted Beauty

What’s better than a fabulous product?  A fabulous product tied to a powerful cause!  Barnes & Noble College Marketing loves to partner with brands that are committed to helping others – and that is exactly what Rooted Beauty is all about.  Rooted Beauty is an all-natural skincare brand that, with each product sold, provides vocational training and counseling to women, to empower them to end the cycle of extreme poverty through its Woman2Woman program.  Through Barnes & Noble College in-store events, Rooted Beauty was able to connect directly with millennial consumers and educate them about their brand and mission.  To learn more about Rooted Beauty, click here.

Marketing to Millennials? Check out favorite finds for college marketing.


In the world of consumer branding, it pays to keep up with the changing needs of your best customers, and there are few more crucial moments than that entry into adulthood when students experience graduation. The college generation is starting to grow up and a recent report published in Advertising Age reminds us that, in the next 10 to 15 years, 80 percent of Millennials will themselves become parents.

That rite of passage is not lost on brands wanting to start a relationship with the fastest-growing group of consumers — and to start it early. “Marketing to students provides some of the greatest opportunities for our partners to begin a dialogue with potential life-long customers,” explainsBarnes & Noble College Senior Marketing Specialist Stacey Merkin, “and we have partners who are particularly interested in reaching them at this crucial time in their lives.”


Before getting hired for that first job, or buying that first car, students will have more pressing needs before they graduate from college. Merkin’s role at Barnes & Noble College Marketing(BNCM) is to help brands with a particular resonance partner with those students — at a time when that audience is going to need those products and services the most.


An Ann Taylor 'Style for Success' marketing piece that was distributed to graduating seniors.

An Ann Taylor ‘Style for Success’ marketing piece that was distributed to graduating seniors.


As an example, Ann Taylor, the women’s clothing company renowned for their classically styled suits, separates and dresses, might seem an unlikely match for ladies who have spent the last four years in jeans and t-shirts. “We wanted to help them shape their brand image in the eyes of our students and offer a discount to shop in their stores as a way for students to build their career-appropriate wardrobe,” Merkin points out. The Ann Taylor promotion, ‘Style for Success,’ involved a marketing piece that led students from the first impression of an interview-ready range of suits and dresses, to the first day in the office, as well as clothing options suitable for casual Friday.

Tracking the lifestyle changes students might undergo after graduation doesn’t always require a completely new brand relationship. West Elm, who has communicated to students ideas about decorating their dorm rooms, also found that the same message, to the same audience, could apply equally well to graduates starting life in new homes or apartments. Merkin points out that in previous years, BNCM has helped brands such as Chevrolet develop graduation-appropriate messages and, although not specifically targeting graduates, also created an email campaign offering a special student rate as a way of introducing a new generation of readers to the respected publication, The Economist.


Ann Taylor 'Style for Success'


Even with the prospect of their first pay check looming, Millennials as a generation are unlikely to be extravagant. Currently, 24 percent of more established Millennials earn more than $75,000 per year, another quarter earns less than $25,000, and an equal amount are likely to return home to live with their parents, according to a recent survey by Understandably, these shoppers are highly sensitive to price and exhibit a proclivity for coupons and special promotions.


Merkin agrees that price and value are good ways to build an authentic brand relationship with students, yet argues that any brand looking to engage with graduating students needs to create a valid, lasting ability to build on that relationship. “As a student, you might discover a retailer through a coupon incentive, but the real value is that you’ll continue shopping there into adulthood,” she explains. “Our brand partners are really looking to establish a long-lasting relationship with that student — beyond any individual campaign.”

As the Class of 2015 finds themselves in new jobs, new cities and new experiences after graduation, some of the lessons learned at their universities won’t just be academic. The brand experiences they enjoyed on campus will stay with them far beyond college — and that can be very good news for companies hoping to make a customer for life.

Marketing to Millennials? Check out favorite finds for college marketing.

College Marketing at University of Delaware

Part of what makes Barnes & Noble College Marketing unique is our direct access to a network of over 700 on-campus college bookstores, and the store managers who help us execute our programs in market, and ensure that our students receive exceptional customer service.

BNCM interviewed bookstore manager Jennifer Galt, at Store #289, Barnes & Noble at University of Delaware, to get some insights on her store, and her experience with our company.


Bookstore Location:

83 East Main Street, Newark DE 19716

Our bookstore is located on the main street in town.

How many students does the bookstore serve?

We currently have over 21,000 students, 17,000 of them are undergraduates.


What are the most popular majors at your university?

By far, business and education are the most popular majors at University of Delaware.

How many years have you worked with BNC?

I have worked for Barnes & Noble College for 17 years.

What makes our bookstore unique?

We have a great NSO – New Student Orientation event, that welcomes students to campus in the Fall, and gets them familiar with the many wonderful aspects of the bookstore.  We do presentations on textbook rentals and reservations to let students know the options that they have with their class materials.  We also host the Mid-Morning Coffee break, in-store, for approximately 300 parents, every day, for 20 days!

What have been your favorite /most successful marketing programs at the bookstore?

Our students love free samples, sweepstakes and events.  In the past, some of our favorite programs include the sampling program for Gillette razors, as well as the Wrigley’s Chewing Gum sampling, and Clinique’s make-up sampling.  Events that focused on food and beverage sampling, such as College Color Day with $1 ice coffee, and Kind Bar sampling were also smash hits with our students.

In what ways does the bookstore also serve the local community?

We are the community bookstore for the city of Newark.  Being in a tax free state, our malls are always crowded with people.  Our store gives the community a place to go, with convenient parking, smaller crowds and attentive customer service.  We also participate in the Downtown Newark Partnership, which supports all local businesses.  Some other fun events that we host for the community include Pictures with Santa, holiday window decorating (with one of our employees playing the Grinch who steals the window decorating trophy), Winterfest, Community Days, and many more.


What is the best kept secret of the bookstore?

Our best kept secret is my staff!!  They are awesome!!  They are the reason why the store looks so good and runs so well.  The great customer service that they provide is the reason why our students and our customers keep coming back.


YouU Dee is the official mascot of the University of Delaware Fightling Blue Hens.  YoUDee‘s proud lineage extends all the way back to the Revolutionary War.  The Blue Hens have a reputation for courage and ferocity in battle, traits that are symbolic of the fighting spirit of the athletic teams of the University.

YoUDee’s great-great-great-grandfather, Col. George W. YoUDee, distinguished himself in the Revolutionary War and was cited for bravery in battle. Capt. John Caldwell, commenting after the Battle of Trenton, said, “There’s no yellow streak in that chicken. He’s blue to the bone.” Col. YoUDee was given a gold medal of valor, so blue and yellow-gold now serve as YoUDee’s official colors.


Funny Student Traditions:

Fall tailgating during our University of Delaware football games is a favorite activity for students, alumni and fans.  We have an annual Homecoming banner contest.  For good luck on exams, it’s a tradition for students to rub the head of the Hugh Morris statue in the Morris Library.

Favorite places on campus:

The Green, the Business Quad, Trabant Student Center, and “The Beach”

Haunted Stories:

It is rumored that Old College and Elliott Hall are haunted, but until I see photos, I’m not convincedJ

Mitchel Hall, the theater on campus, is said to be haunted by a friendly ghost named Elmo, whose legendary appearances date back several decades.  Some of his gleeful outbursts include the sounds of footsteps running across the stage, lights flickering on and off, and the clicky clack of work tools.

Famous Alumni:

There are many famous alums, including Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Joe Blacco, Rich Gannon, the former LA Raiders Quarterback and CBS Sports Commentator, and Taylor Swift’s Dad, Scott Swift.


Building Café and Convenience at Barnes & Noble College Bookstores

Barnes & Noble College is always looking for ways to make our bookstores more than just a place where students can buy their textbooks for classes.  Through our Café locations, we strive to make the bookstore a place where students can relax, socialize and linger over a cup of coffee or a sandwich.  To read more about how Crystal Jarrouge, the manager at Furman University Bookstore, has implemented new and innovative ways to bring value, convenience and fun to her customers, while transforming the bookstore into a social hub on campus,