If we asked you to imagine a typical student brand, chances are you’d be thinking budget. But in fact, the brands college students love are far from cheap and cheerful. Today’s students are more aware and more likely to buy designer labels and high-value items than most people would expect.
In our interviews with students in the US and UK, they consistently cite Gucci as not only a label that they love, but that they see every day on campus. Of course, many of the students who wear designer clothes and accessories come from a wealthy background, but even those living on a more restricted budget see these luxury items as worth saving up for. Along with Gucci, other brands college students love are Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff and Michael Kors. Buying vintage and second-hand from apps such as Depop can make the products more affordable. However, the latest designs are still the ultimate dream.
Aside from designer labels, other clothing brands that students love include sportswear such as Nike and Adidas, outdoor brands including Patagonia and Canada Goose, and fashion-forward chains like Urban Outfitters and Zara. They often pair items from these mid-market brands with more affordable purchases from fast fashion stores like Forever 21 and H&M, or ecommerce sites like Shein and Boohoo.
When it comes to technology, we’ve also found that students are willing to spend more than expected on the two key devices they depend upon: their smartphone and laptop. Our discussions with students have revealed that under the technology umbrella, Apple is students most popular high-end brand. The majority of students own an iPhone and MacBook or aspire to do so. While those who aren’t into the tech powerhouse, Apple, favour other high ends lines such as the Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixel. However, in return for investing more in high-end tech, they expect the product to be durable and long-lasting. In our surveys of both US and UK students, we found that on average they replace their laptop around every four years.
Here at Student Beans, we partner with many luxury and high end brands to help them engage the valuable student market. Building relationships with students enables these businesses to create brand loyalty that will last as the current class graduate and go on to become the high earners of tomorrow.