What colleges can teach you about growing your business

What colleges can teach you about growing your business

Can we talk about college for a moment? Those admissions folks know all about being top of mind. We went through the process this past year and I’ve never received so much mail in such a short period of time.

And colleges understand the power of swag. They know that small RELEVANT gifts are an effective strategy to keep their school top of mind. 

I couldn’t help but cast The Gift Tailor’s eye over what worked well and how you can tap into that for your strategy.

To a tee

We got t-shirts with the college name emblazoned across the front. This context is perfect for big bold unabashed branding.

Teens live in tees. A good quality one will be put to good use. 

Other on point goodies 

Flags to decorate their bedroom walls. Cowbells for game day support. I already used a cowbell at the HS game when my regular one broke!

No stress balls in hand

I didn’t see the squeezy stress balls which corporate gifters on the other hand seem to love to buy.

Slightly surprising to not see them with the college audience too because the college application process alone is stressful, but I suppose when the kids are under pressure they’re not thinking I really must go look for that quirky-shaped squeeze ball. 

Not paying lip service

The other thing I didn’t see was generic lip balm - which for some odd reason corporate gifters also love to give out as swag. Maybe because unless you just have a dentist visit you either have a specific lip balm that you like or you just don’t use it at all. Anyway, for swag it just wouldn’t fit into this context.

Observe but don’t replicate. 

Some of the mailshots were postcards with the college’s name. No message, no invitation to anything. It’s true that you can’t be in front of your prospect or client too often, but that’s only true if you’re providing value in those touch points.

Cliff's notes

Here’s the lesson that you can take from colleges to increase your client engagement and sales conversions from events. If the student has awareness of the college, reinforced by a positive experience with a teacher or student from that college, that will make them more likely to want to go there. That initial contact layered with good, relevant swag will maintain that engagement.

At The Gift Tailor, we help firms build strategies to become top of mind to retain clients and grow their business. If this sounds like something you could use some guidance with, send us a note via the contact page.

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