College is a Clear Point of Market Entry for Gen-Z and Millennial Consumers


Discover why a P.O.M.E.  strategy will drive awareness and sales for your brand.


Companies like Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson have successfully followed a Point of Market Entry (P.O.M.E) strategy for years. Their laser focus on consumer trigger points, such as life changes that create needs for new product categories, enables them to reach new customers who are in prime buying mode. The classic example is expectant  mothers who suddenly become interested in diapers — a category that now plays an essential role in their lives. P&G and J&J reach these soon-to-be-mothers with product information and samples at the very moment they become interested in the diaper category and begin their product search.


How does point of entry marketing work with the college consumer?

Just like expectant mothers, college students experience several shifts or life changes throughout their college journey. Identifying which events are triggers for your product can be the key to efficient and cost-effective college marketing.

From college acceptance through to graduation, and all the years in between, there may be several P.O.M.E opportunities for your product. The Barnes & Noble College marketing platform can tailor sampling programs, targeted emails, web advertising,  social media and events to seamlessly execute your brand’s college strategy.


First Life Changing Event: College Acceptance

The first critical shift takes place the moment the high school senior receives his or her college acceptance letter. Our research shows that incoming freshmen immediately engage on their college social media platforms and start shopping in many new categories; where they have no prior experience. That is a P.O.M.E. for a wide range of products and services from clothing to dorm furnishings to electronics and in some cases, new cars.


Another Life Changing Event: College Graduation

Fast forward to young adults who are ready to graduate and preparing to enter the work world. Career wardrobes, apartment furnishings, insurance and autos are big items for graduates and can be P.O.M.E. for marketers of brands in those categories.


Life Changing Events in Between

Whether it’s move-in, orientation, homecoming, final exams, spring break or other life shifts, the college student’s journey presents many entry opportunities for brand marketers.

Barnes & Noble College makes it easy to get college students’ attention at the exact time they enter your target audience. Connect with us today to talk about a year-long P.O.M.E. college strategy for your brand.



20 Million Students Head Back to School This Fall. Isn’t it Time to Add College Orientation to Your Marketing Plans?


In the first installment of our Back-to-College Series, we talked about the importance of ongoing brand-student conversations and how Barnes & Noble College makes it easy for brands to talk with students year-round — incoming freshmen as soon as they are accepted, and returning students over the summer months and during breaks.

In this installment, we focus on the prime opportunities to engage with college students at Fall Orientation. Brands should be planning right now as millions of new students prepare to attend college orientation programs across the country.


It’s in the Numbers: Brand Dialogue Opportunities

Nearly 20 million students will head back to college full-time this Fall.* That includes freshmen, upperclassmen and even transfer students. Barnes & Noble College reaches over 5 million U.S. college students, so we make it easy to reach this hard-to-access audience — on hundreds of college campuses across the country. Plus, our platforms can be segmented based on college year, and numerous demographic and psychographic characteristics for precise targeting.


Did you know that more than 1/3 of college students transfer at least once during their college years?** That’s big change for a lot of students who have tremendous brand purchasing power.


It’s Omnichannel: Multiple Engagement Platforms to Choose From

An integrated approach enables brands to best leverage their efforts, spending and message. Choose the platform and venue that best aligns with your objectives and product profile.


It’s In-store: Sampling, Demos, Signage and Café Surround Programs

Many of our brand partners use sampling programs, live demos, digital TV and custom promotional materials centered around in-store Fall Orientation activities held on 770+ campuses. 

·  New student and parent orientation. Beginning late summer and going through early Fall, our campuses hold numerous orientation activities, many of them in Barnes & Noble College bookstores. If you want your product and message front and center with freshmen, transfers and their parents, this is where you want to be. Materials and packets that are handed out receive undivided attention from both students and parents, so samples and promotional materials will get noticed.

·  VIP Nights. Once school is underway, Barnes & Noble College also hosts hundreds of in-store VIP shopping events on college campuses. Helping to ease the transition into college life, these events give students the opportunity to meet and network with their fellow classmates, while enjoying a variety of activities like music, photo booths and more — all enhanced by our brand partners. Each student leaves with a goodie bag filled with samples and treats.

·  Café Sponsorships, Coffee Sleeves, and Table Signage. Starbucks Cafes in 90+ campus stores serve as student and parent hubs year-round — particularly at orientation time. Customized sponsorships, tailored cup sleeves, table signage and other giveaways garner brand attention and build awareness as visitors recharge over coffee.


It’s Online: Emails, Custom Content, and Social Engagement

Our research has found students and their parents are most receptive to new messages and offers they receive at Orientation time. Everyone wants to start out the school year on strong footing to get the most out of the college experience.

·  Targeted emails. Historically, our partner emails, sent to students and parents at orientation time, achieve open rates of 30% or higher. Tie-ins to in-store or on-campus promotions fare even better.

·  Custom content. Serve up your own brand of relevant content and feature it on The College Juice, our student-focused blog, and/or on more than 770 campus bookstore Facebook pages.


It’s On-Campus: Custom Events and Sponsorships

Across the U.S., colleges and universities go all out to welcome students at Fall Orientation. You, too, can consider going all out to customize an event or sponsor a portion of a scheduled reception or event. We make it easy. Just ask us how.


Want to send your brand back to campus this Fall? Contact Lori Cohn at to receive a customized omni-channel plan that starts with Fall Orientation.


*Source: NCES
**Source: Inside Higher Ed