There are 21.4 college students in the U.S. with $376 billion in spending power, and smart brands know that marketing to students can create lifelong customers for brands. (1) Most college students are influenced by a brand’s authenticity as well as than their advertising, partly because of their use of ad-free streaming services and ad blockers while online. Smart brands will consider newer ways of reaching these young consumers like social media, employing student ambassadors and useful promotional items.

Promos that relate to what is trendy with college students can be a great way for brands to appeal to this important group of buyers. College is often the place they are forming their product preferences for the first time so brands that make a good impression can earn lifetime customers. Plus, once a student leaves college they are estimated to make over $1 million more than non-college peers so these brand relationships are high-value. (2)

Student life revolves around pop culture trends, so that is a good place to start If your clients are looking to make an impact with the college crowd. Here is a list of ideas for promos that will impress the college crowd.

On-the-Go Video

TikTok exploded in popularity during the pandemic, expanding young adults’ preferences for using video to document, learn and connect. TikTok has truly captured the imagination of Gen Z social media users (with 2.3 billion downloads), and the app provides 5 different ad types for brands looking to connect with these highly-engaged users.

Apparel, wearable tech and even more traditional promotional products have a place in these videos that can be recorded anywhere and everywhere. Implementing promos with TikTok brand takeovers, in-feed ads and hashtag challenges maximizes the popularity of the app with college-aged users. (3)


#45413 Front Runner Cap

The Front Runner is very lightweight for an easy, comfortable fit. The traditional 6-Panel unstructured style is made of brushed 100% cotton twill with cotton sheeting, sweatband and hook-and-loop closure.

#26159 Peerless Umbrella Cloud

This 48″ arc umbrella has a picture perfect decorative cloud design on the underside of the canopy. The auto-open design features a solid wood handle and matching black nylon sleeve is included.

Battling Burnout

College campuses are taking proactive steps toward helping students relax and avoid burnout, especially after extended virtual learning over the last year. Student affairs professionals are implementing fun events, recreational activities and clever ideas to help students relieve tension when they return to campus this fall. (2)


#32286 Desktop Toss Game

This bag toss game is the perfect size to fit on any desk. Includes a wood board and six bags with generous imprint area. Ideal for taking a break from classes or downtime with friends.


#8021 Adult Coloring Book Planner – Academic

Take a break from class and relax with these delightful designs. A useful item for keeping schedules organized and reducing stress while studying. Includes a 14-month academic calendar.

Social Responsibility

92% of hiring managers view volunteer activities as building leadership skills and believe students who were involved with charitable campus groups to be more positively engaged in the workplace. (3) Students see volunteerism as a way to build real-world skills and make professional connections while helping improve their local and global communities. Promotional products remind students of the causes they care about while helping spread the word about organizations’ missions.

65221_silicone awareness bracelet

#65221 Silicone Awareness Wrist Band

Continue to show support for a cause long after the event ends with this wrist band. Always available in a wide range of color options, with screen print or deboss imprint.


#16167 Recycled PET Two-Tone Drawstring Backpack

This eco-conscious drawstring backpack is made with recycled PET fabrics (equivalent to 6 plastic water bottles) with sharp color accents. Perfect for brands focused on doing their part to make the world a little greener.

Visit to see more products that appeal to what’s trending for students in 2021.

©2021 Koozie Group, Clearwater, FL 33760.

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