Taking place in September and October, the first few weeks of the academic year, also known as Freshers, are the most important weeks in the student marketing calendar. As a brand, this is your opportunity to win-over loyal consumers, as students begin to make their first big purchasing decisions on their own. One of our student marketing experts sat down with Zoe – a 19 -year-old student studying Psychology in London – to talk about her Freshers experience. Zoe recalls the brands that stood out during Fresher’s week and shares her suggestions for how brands can better support new students starting University.
Zoe, 19 – Studies psychology in London
What were you excited about when starting uni?
I was really excited to meet people from all over the world, from a bunch of different backgrounds and to have that quintessential university experience.
What were you nervous about?
I was pretty nervous about the workload and how I would manage that, as well as living in a massive city like London for the first time.
What did you buy to prepare and when did you start shopping?
I bought the classic kitchenware and furnishings for my bedroom as well as looking into the mobile phone plans. I started doing that all during Freshers Week and a couple of days beforehand as, coming from overseas, I couldn’t really bring all that stuff with me. So I had a lot to do in that short amount of time! It definitely was a bit stressful but I managed to get most of it done.
What did you wish you’d bought?
I wish that I had looked more into organising kits for my bathroom and bedroom, as I feel like I didn’t really consider how much stuff I would have and where I’d put it all in my new space.
What events did you attend during Freshers Week?
I attended a couple of social events for my course as well as general university events throughout the week, and also the Freshers Fair.
What are your best memories of that week?
I really enjoyed being able to meet people from my course as well as from different fields across the university, doing different types of degrees at different levels. That was really cool. During the Freshers Fair, being exposed to a lot of different activities, clubs and businesses that I didn’t know existed beforehand was really informative for me.
What would you do differently?
I would try to go to more of the events, as well as explore a little bit more of the museums and things that are outside central London, as I didn’t quite consider how little time I would have during the school year to go do that type of thing.
Do you remember any brands promoting themselves on campus at the time?
Unfortunately not too much, aside from university services at the time.
What would you have liked to see from brands during Freshers?
I would have liked to see a lot more information regarding possible discounts on bedding, cookware, things that are a lot more practical, because I do remember a lot of the deals were maybe on food. I think I saw one bedding deal but that was arranged through my university. I saw Amazon Prime, which was useful, but having more practical things would have been really helpful. Moving to a new place for the first time to such a big city, a lot more variety and more options on discounts would have been very helpful, for me at least.