College Kids Join The Popular Crowd

Let’s be honest, in today’s world, college kids have it made. Not only is
their entire life spread out before them like a bright, shining light, but they
still have access to their parents for help, they can be careless and shrug their
shoulders in mock "crazy college kid" fashion and are eligible for a multitude of discounts (think theater,
events, retail, etc.).

Sam’s Club sweetened the deal when it recently began
offering a membership option specifically for college students. With a valid college ID and college e-mail address in tow, students can
purchase a yearlong membership for $40.

Okay, so that doesn’t seem like much
of a discount, right? Wrong. In addition, students receive a $15 gift card
(that’s bulk toilet paper for six months at least!), including a second card
for the student to pass along to one of their mooching friends. A typical Sam’s
Club individual membership is $40, but it doesn’t come with the additional card
and $15 gift card. Sorry, mom and dad, you’ll have to enroll in college if you
want this deal.

The retailer, known for specializing in bulk goods galore and consumer
electronics, has gotten serious about attracting the college crowd–its Web
site homepage features a college dorm scene, complete with the verbiage,
"It’s Not Just About Ramen Anymore." Cute Sam, I kinda dig it.

College kids are known for their limited budgets (aka Top Ramen and Spaghettios), but they also possess very specific spending needs. The demographic
as a whole loves a discount, and Sam’s Club is simply targeting the market in a
more focused way with its special college membership deal.

It will be interesting to see if the college membership niche will yield any
results for Sam’s Club. In the meantime, I’m going to enroll in some classes
and see how many discounts I can take advantage of.

What do you think about retail promotions geared specifically towards the
college crowd? Do you think the kids will take Sam up on the offer? Leave your comments

–Heather Strang

1 Comment

  1. I'm not sold on Sam Club foray into college market promotions. While it certainly makes sense to tap this group with promos and discounts etc, Im not convinced that college students will want to sell out cash for a sam's club membership and (most importantly) are they all that interested in buying in bulk?
    Not sure where the typical campus student is going to store that 9 month supply of bathroom tissue or jumbo mega family size jug of gerkins in the typical dorm room.