Get Into College with Us [AND MAKE LOTS OF FRIENDS]


Today’s US college students spend billions annually* on food, clothing, automotive, technology and other consumables. Shouldn’t they be spending on your brand?


One of the biggest challenges marketers face is cutting through the clutter to truly engage the college student audience. They want highly targeted, one-of-a-kind programs that will reach college students frequently throughout their college years. They want to build authentic relationships with loyalists who will stick with their brands beyond college graduation. Not an easy feat, they say.

Barnes & Noble College Marketing is the only college marketing platform that provides direct on-campus access to over 5 million college students, parents and alumni, PLUS in-depth insights into their shopping and brand preferences, attitudes, and purchase intentions.

Programs connect with students at important milestones throughout their college journey, like freshmen orientation, exam time, homecoming and graduation. Programs can be customized to align with key marketing timeframes such as new product launches, holiday shopping, and other seasonal and promotional events.


Reach them where they meet and socialize online. Seventy-four percent of college students have talked to a friend about a favorite brand in the past week. Let’s get them talking about your brand, too, with our email marketing programs, custom content on our student blog, social media, and online and mobile campaigns.


  • Email Marketing reaches 3M+ students and parents with an average open rate of 30%.
  • Custom Content on our student blog, The College Juice,  reaches over 2M+ students through its monthly newsletter.
  • Social Media campaigns reach 1M+ followers.
  • Online & Mobile Advertising on 700+ school-branded websites reach students and parents year-round, with 300M impressions and over 500K mobile users.


Social drives sales. College students are your best brand ambassadors. When they love a brand they spread the word by posting and reposting.


Meet Them When and Where They Shop: IN-STORE ADVERTISING

Place your message in 700+ US campus bookstores and 75 cafés. Our stores have 85 million visitors annually, so our high impact signage, café marketing (coffee sleeves, table tents and events), and digital TVs (49 million impressions) get you noticed in a big way.

Immerse Them in a Customized Brand Experience: LIVE ENGAGEMENT

Create unforgettable experiences that drive brand awareness, stimulate trial, and acquire new customers. In-store and web-order sampling, omni-channel sweepstakes, event sponsorships, and customized in-store and campus events make it easy for students to interact with your company and products.


  • Sampling via hand-to-hand or fulfillment boxes is an easy way to spur trial.
  • Omni-channel Sweepstakes that create excitement around your brand.
  • Event Sponsorships connect with students in high-traffic, socially engaging events.
  • Customized Events held in store can be crafted around your brand personality and message.


Understand Them: MARKET RESEARCH

Gain insights from our POV Community of 10,000 students and 5,000 parents. Gauge brand awareness, purchase intent, and campaign effectiveness. In-person interviews, live intercepts, focus groups, and other types of research can be customized to provide additional brand insights.

Barnes & Noble College Marketing will work with you to refine your standalone research project or incorporate our research into your marketing program, ensuring that you deliver the information your customers want—where and how they will look for it. Any program can be refined and tested prior to full rollout.


  • POV Community of 10K students and 5K parents provide cost-effective, quick results thanks to our 60-70% completion rates and high member satisfaction scores.
  • Custom research is gathered from our community via live intercepts, focus groups and other research.
  • Real-time product testing can be performed and ongoing brand trackers can be established. Don’t limit your college marketing programs to just back-to-school season. Engage with them 365 days a year to develop lifelong brand champions.


Looking for BRICK AND MORTAR or CLICK AND ORDER results? Learn more about Barnes & Noble College Marketing’s expertise and our unmatched access and insights into the college market. We have our fingers on the pulse of the college market and connect students with the brands and products they value most. Connect with us online or contact me directly at

*Source: Barnes & Noble College | College Insights



A Beauty Concept on Campus: How College Women Shop for Beauty Products


Today’s college-aged women spend an average of $30 each month on products to enhance their natural beauty, according to our recent College Beauty Attitude Study*.  They say that wearing makeup makes them feel pretty, confident, and comfortable. So how can your brand make it into the makeup bag of the 18 to 22-year old college female?


Understanding the mindset of your college beauty buyer is critical to building loyalty.


        • Experimental: Most women in this demographic fall into an Experimental mindset when it comes to beauty products, primarily due to their age and stage in life. They are focused on figuring out which products and brands best meet their needs, tastes, and style.
        • Established and Trusted: Once they find products that work for them, they adopt an Established and Trusted mindset.


It’s also important to note that their beauty mindset can change at any point as the market grows and evolves or their needs change. If their mascara is no longer available or they come across a product touting new benefits, these women may temporarily switch back to the Experimental mindset. Similarly, if their skin needs change, they may start experimenting to find new products that work better for them.


The beauty-buying environment impacts purchase behavior.

Women in the 18 to 22-year old age group are looking for stores that offer a combination of price, selection and convenience. They don’t want to be rushed and desire an organized retail environment with easy-to-locate products.

Beauty advisors are not always necessary. For most makeup needs, these women would rather browse on their own. They want access to a beauty advisor once they have narrowed down their options or need advice or a makeover for a special occasion.


Whether you’re marketing beauty products or anything else, you know that real connections start with genuine insights and meaningful dialog. Barnes & Noble College’s Student POV panel can help you create those connections by finding, understanding, and engaging your future brand enthusiasts.  Contact us here for information on our Student POV panel.


Introducing The Glossary: Our research-backed innovation, guiding beauty retailing on today’s college campuses.




“Through in-depth student discussions (all part of our College Beauty Attitude Study), we recognized a gap in access to beauty solutions on campus and worked with them to shape The Glossary,” said Lisa Mazzio, Director of Merchandise for Barnes & Noble College.

The Glossary, a groundbreaking retail beauty shop with warm colors and hand-drawn original art, creates a unique, approachable beauty store-within-a-store. “College women’s feedback informed the categories and brands we sell, the look and layout of the stores themselves, and the format that inspires self-discovery rather than in-aisle beauty consultants, which were less desired.”

With wide, uncluttered aisles, The Glossary can accommodate high traffic, while product displays create and encourage in-store experimentation, as opposed to the traditional approach of putting beauty products in a showcase. To appeal to a diverse spectrum of college women, The Glossary features a wide range of products, from prestige brands like Smashbox, Philosophy, Bliss, and Lipstick Queen, among others, to traditional mass-market brands including Burt’s Bees, CoverGirl and Maybelline.

This unique campus retail beauty concept is thriving among 18 to 22-year old female crowd on the campuses of Emory University, Southern Methodist University, Tulane University and College of William & Mary. It will soon arrive at the University of California at Riverside.

Want to learn more about The Glossary? Connect with us here or contact me directly at


Footnote: *Barnes & Noble College Marketing | College Insights | College Beauty Attitude Study