Insights for Marketers: College Student Consumer Trends

Newcomer, Jana Elisabeth (2015) Insights for Marketers: College Student Consumer Trends. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Scott A. Fiene from Integrated Marketing Communications, Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

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Abstract

This thesis will aim to examine the ways in which college students can best be reached by marketing efforts. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 21 million students will attend college this year—a whopping 5.7 million more than in 2000. Considering the impact of their preferences and the billions of dollars of discretionary money spent by college students annually, this segment of the market is a critical one. College students are consuming social media constantly, embracing technological change, and desiring for brands and products to help define them. Through the use of quantitative and qualitative data, this thesis was an attempt to uncover valuable insights into the mind of the college consumer, and determine how marketing efforts should best be directed. The researcher used a survey created with Qualtrics software, and conducted one-on-one interviews with students from different colleges at the University of Mississippi. This thesis addressed topics such as social media consumption, brand interactions, online shopping, consumer behavior patterns, approachability, brand loyalty, and appeal. The researcher found that college students experience a shift in what they value in brands and products. While popular and in-style products and brands are significantly valued at the beginning of the college years, students increasingly place more value on high quality and affordability. It appears from the data that there is a link between brand loyalty and brands and products that students consider to play a large part in their lives. These insights were among many others that were uncovered in the course of this thesis research.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Newcomer, Jana Elisabeth
Student's Degree Program(s): Integrated Marketing Communications, General Studies
Thesis Advisor: Scott A. Fiene
Thesis Advisor's Department: Integrated Marketing Communications
Institution: Meek School of Journalism and New Media
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Jana Elisabeth Newcomer
Date Deposited: 06 May 2015 20:00
Last Modified: 06 May 2015 20:00
URI: http://thesis.honors.olemiss.edu/id/eprint/357

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