Getting the Most Out of Your Research: 5 Tips for Engaging College Students

A few weeks ago, our research partner and leader in customer intelligence, Vision Critical, invited me to be a panelist on How to Win the Loyalty of Millennials and Generation Z at their 2015 Global Summit in Chicago.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to engage with this elusive group.

1. Keep it short and meaningful.

Students have a limited attention span. We try to limit every activity to five minutes to maintain quality answers from beginning to end.

2. Be authentic.

Students today are extremely savvy when it comes to marketing, advertising and public relations. Be upfront about your goals and intentions.

3. Use terminology and phrasing that feels natural to them.

More rigid, traditional questionnaires can read awkwardly for this age group. A conversational approach helps yield more accurate answers.

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Millennials love Hunter Boots

Hunter Boots, styles our students for Fall 2015

One of our favorite outlets for brands is sponsored content on The College Juice – Hunter Boots takes their content to a whole new level!

All-weather boots, outerwear and accessories are college wardrobe essentials.  A college campus favorite, the Hunter Original Tall boot is a year-round staple now available in many university colors. In anticipation of back to school, here are 6 ways to wear your Hunter boots this fall:

1) Around the Quad: Tall Wellington boots are a rainy day essential for trekking from the quad to class without sacrificing function for style.

Rainy Day on the Quad - from Hunter

2) Game Day: Get ready for game day pride by wearing boots in your school colors, available at your Barnes & Noble campus bookstore.

Tulane Tailgate


3) Apple Picking: Head off-campus to enjoy a day of apple picking – the Original Tall boot is perfect for the muddy orchards.

Fall Apple Picking

4) City Adventures: Try the Original Tall Gloss boots for a day exploring the city, whether shopping or discovering new restaurants near campus.

City Slickers

5) Fall Weather: Pair your boots with warm, fleece-lined Hunter socks for walks around campus as temperatures cool in the fall evenings.

Fall Weather w/ Hunter Boots


6) Pumpkin Patch: Head to a local farm with boots to make your way through the mud while searching for a pumpkin.

Pumpkin Picking


Tweet @hunterboots with the hashtag #hunterxbncollege with other ways you wear your Hunter boots around campus!

This post was brought to you by Hunter Boots.

college marketing at FIU

Inside College Marketing at Florida International University

Part of what makes Barnes & Noble College Marketing (BNCM) unique is our direct access to over 5 million college students on more than 700 campuses.

Florida International University Campus Highlights

Students: 40,000 Undergraduates and 15,000 Graduate students

Student Life: There is an active Greek presence on campus

Sports: FIU has NCAA Division 1 Sports on campus – football, basketball, soccer and volleyball being popular


FIU Campus


Top Brand Experiences on Campus

Combos – Students were given the chance to sample new flavors of Combos during Back-to-School move in.  Who doesn’t like a free sample?!

Goodness Knows – To support a product launch in-store, Goodness Knows brand ambassadors were in-store sampling the Goodness Knows product during our Back-to-School season.

Visa Check Out- Students were given $30 off an on-line order of $100 or more, plus free shipping, when they used Visa Check Out online.

Ice Breakers – In conjunction with the product launch in-store, students were given the opportunity to sample Ice Breakers new cool blast product.


Mike Comisky's insider view on college marketing

Our Face on Campus is Mike Comiskey


Mike’s insights on FIU students

“Our student life is made up of active, fun loving, café addicts who are not afraid of hard work and live the Miami life style.”

We asked Mike, “What are the top brands on FIU’s marketing wish list?”

  1. Forever21 – “It’s really affordable and stylish, something Miami girls really like.”
  2. Toms or Warby Parker – “I would welcome any company that gives back to the community with the sale of their products.”

Unique Traditions at FIU:

There are a few traditions here on campus including the Kissing Bridge and the University Seal outside of the Graham Center.

  • The Kissing Bridge – The bridge connects the library to the business building. It’s said that if you have your first kiss on the bridge, your relationship will last forever.
  • The University Seal – It’s a superstition that if you step on the seal, you won’t graduate. If you happen to step on the seal, you have to walk backwards 7 times around the seal in order to break the curse.

We also have some fun traditions here at the bookstore; we never miss a birthday, decorate for every holiday, and never have our holiday part in the same location on campus.

About the Author:  Samantha Evans

samantha evans

Samantha is a Senior Marketing Specialist.  She graduated from Fairleigh Dickenson University with a major in Marketing and a minor in Advertising.  She began her career at BNCM as a college intern, and enjoyed it so much, it grew into a permanent position.  Outside of the office, Samantha enjoys cooking, hosting dinner parties for friends at home, hiking with her husband and 2 pups, and doing anything adventurous outdoors.


Tick Tock: Holiday Shopping Season Is In Full Swing

To follow up on our insights on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, students nationwide shared their holiday shopping plans including how far in advance they get their gifts.

We were surprised and impressed that more than one-third of students buy gifts for friends and family a month or more in advance. But, while these students like to plan ahead, the majority is still cutting it a little closer. Another 39% of students buy their gifts three or four weeks in advance, while 24% do their shopping one or two weeks ahead.

Only five percent of students wait until the last week to buy gifts–not bad, all things considered!

Women consistently said that they buy gifts earlier than men, with higher percentages in the “more than two months ahead” “one or two months” and “three or four weeks” categories. And, only 24% of female students do their shopping within the last two weeks, compared to 37% of male students.

Breaking down the numbers by age, freshmen buy their gifts a little later than their upperclassmen peers. Just under three-fourths of freshmen buy their gifts one to four weeks in advance, compared to a range of 55% to 59% of the other three classes. Upperclassmen are significantly more likely to buy their gifts a month or even two in advance.

Looking at all responses, it’s clear that right after Thanksgiving is around the time most students get serious about buying gifts for Christmas and Kwanzaa. Hopefully, those buying Hanukkah gifts will already be a little further along!