With a record number of students expected to attend university this autumn, exposing your brand to this captive audience of potential new customers is a great opportunity you don’t want to miss. Whether you market a university, student union or society, or are looking to engage and encourage students to use your products or services, be sure to add Freshers’ promotional giveaways to your marketing campaign.

Why Target Generation Z?

Students born after 1997, also known as Generation Z have an estimated global spending power of $200bn according to Bloomberg. When you include parental influence that spend goes up to $3 trillion. Being early adopters and influential to both Millennials and generation X in their buying habits, they open up a great opportunity for marketers to target.

Freshers Week Nightclub

Promotion During Freshers’ Week

A celebration to welcome new university students, Freshers’ Week or Welcome Week traditionally takes place in the autumn, at the start of the new academic year. It’s an incredibly busy time, where students get the chance to meet friends and settle into their new surroundings. Freshers’ week is one of the most anticipated events of the university calendar and a major draw for new students to the week is the Freshers’ fairs.

Fresher’s fairs provide a chance to find out about clubs and societies but also to learn about new brands and products – it is the first time for many they will be making their own purchasing choices. And we all know one thing students love, and that is freebies! With student fees reaching up to £9,250 this year, it is even more likely that many students will be eager to collect free useful and long-lasting merchandise.

Student lettings, taxi firms, bars, cafes, restaurants and gyms are but a few types of companies which may benefit from advertising and offering their services during Freshers week. By offering a freshers’ promotional giveaway as part of an introduction campaign to new students and graduates alike, you will instantly create a positive association with your company. Plus, it is likely that your brand will be remembered and used for years afterwards too.

9 Best Freshers’ Promotional Giveaway Ideas

From low cost promotional stationery, to reusable bags and drinkware, there is a huge range of promotional giveaways at a number of price points, perfect for the Freshers’ market. Below we have put together a selection of useful, on-trend branded goodies that would be perfect for the Generation Z audience and will ensure your company is their first port of call.

1. Branded Reusable Drinkware

Looking after the environment is a central issue for many in generation Z. In fact, they are emerging as the sustainability generation, with the pandemic accelerating their buying behaviours – favouring sustainable brands.

By offering a reusable travel mug, insulated flask or sports bottle at a freshers’ fair, you will be both appeal to what is important to your target audience, and ensure your brand gets seen daily, in a number of places! Along with discounts being offered to those who use their own mugs at many cafes (students love a discount!), hydration (and caffeine) is a necessity when studying!

Branded Universal Tumbler

A low cost, on-trend promotional add on to your branded drinkware could be our branded reusable straws. Made from metal, these branded straws come in their own handy travel case with keyring fitting and will help to reduce the number of disposable straws being used.

2. Eco Friendly Promotional Merchandise

As well as reusable items like branded drinkware and branded bags, consider promotional giveaways that are made from sustainable materials or can be recycled/biodegrade.  That way you will reach out to an eco-friendly savvy audience and make sure your company is remembered for the right reasons. From FSC paper products, to wheatstraw, bamboo and recycled promotional items, there is a giveaway to suit any brand.

Branded Wheatstraw Wireless Charging Plate

For more eco-friendly ideas, read our blog on New Recycled Promotional Products.

3. Personal Freshers’ Promotional Giveaways

For many new students, it will be their first opportunity to live independently and in most cases, it will be in close proximity to other students! Anything to make their life that bit easier and help to keep them safe is sure to please. Branded earplugs, lunchboxes, antibacterial wet wipes, hand sanitisers and face coverings are just a few ideas to help.

Branded Wet Wipes

4. Branded Phone Accessories

If you are wanting a branded giveaway that will both attract students and is guaranteed to be used – look no further than phone accessories with your logo on!  Living and breathing social media, instant messaging, online games and live-streaming, you can be sure that a gadget like a branded wireless charger, branded cables or powerbank will be an instant hit with any Gen Z audience. Branded smartphone gadgets would make for a brilliant incentive for students to sign up to your mailing list or even to enter a competition you are running. Branded phone accessories don’t need to break the bank either, we have a vast selection of promotional phone gadgets from as little as £0.17 for a screen cloth and £0.48 for a silicone card holder for example.

Bamboo Wireless Charging Phone Stand

5. Promotional Stationery

If there is one thing that will help students succeed at university, it is learning to be organised. And you can provide a helping hand! Supply them with writing pads for taking notes in lectures, sticky notes and memo tags for marking important information. Don’t forget to arm fresher’s with the ultimate giveaway – the promotional pen! Available in a number of styles, colours and price points and many with dual purposes like our Bamboo Phone Up Ballpen.

NoteStix Hardback Combi Set

6. Branded Lanyards and Wristbands

A low cost yet effective way to get your brand seen is with promotional lanyards and wristbands. Whether it is to promote the university, society or union or for guaranteed entry to an event or to receive a discount, lanyards and wristbands provide an easy, wearable branded Freshers’ giveaway.Branded Freshers lanyard

7. Student Branded Clothing

Branded clothing provides a sense of belonging, which is really important as a new student. Be it a university hoodie, a branded t-shirt, beanie, cap or gloves – clothing with your logo on will not only help to make students feel comfortable in their new surroundings, but will act as a walking billboard for your organisation! With autumn approaching, you may also want to consider one of the most durable promotional gifts out there – branded umbrellas.

Fruit of the Loom Mens Classic Hooded Sweatshirt

8. Edible Branded Giveaways

Grab instant attention and draw the masses to your Freshers’ fair stand with an edible freebie! Which hungry student doesn’t love a tasty indulgent treat?! Whether you opt for chocolate, cupcakes, doughnuts, cookies, sweets or mints – get your brand on the packaging or even in icing for an immediate brand high! Disclaimer – we can also brand healthy treats too!

Credit Card Shape Mint Container

9. Novelty Promotional Products

A fresher’s fair would not be the same if there wasn’t a quirky freebie on offer! Yes we can brand condom packets and yes we do get asked to brand things like space hoppers and head boppers! So if you have a fun, out there thought for your branded merchandise, don’t be shy, we would love to hear your ideas!

Head Bopper

It is without a doubt that the new influx of university students this year will create a massive opportunity to promote your marketing message and brand to this impressionable new audience. With the help of an on-trend promotional giveaway, you can grab their attention and engage with them, hopefully for years to come! With a huge variety of freshers’ promotional giveaways to consider, the above ideas are just a scratch of the surface! If you are still searching but can’t quite decide, we are happy to have a discussion with you in order to guide you through product ideas and solutions, relevant and suitable for your company and marketing campaign.

If you would like more details on the above products or would like to discuss your branded merchandise strategy, please contact us.

Read next: Event Planning Checklist.

Please note this blog has been updated from original post in July 2019.