Back to School
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, an estimated 21 million students attended American colleges and universities in 2014. This is an increase of approximately 5.7 million students since fall of 2000. In 2011 through 2012, there were approximately 13,600 public school districts in America, with more than 98,300 public schools. In fall 2011 there were approximately 30,900 private schools.
What does this mean for distributors? It means that schools are a large market for promotional products, and there is plenty of room for that distributors to sell to a school or district’s specific needs. We spoke to two suppliers about what items distributors should focus on, what compliance standards to be aware of, and what to research to succeed when selling promotional items to schools and universities. Get those notebooks ready! This will be on the final exam.
Provide Useful Items
One of the harshest realities college students have to face is that when it comes to making meals, they’re pretty much on their own. Janine Cannici, marketing communications manager for VisionUSA, Rahway, N.J., mentioned two items that have been particular hits on campus. “Our Soup Mug Soupreme provides students in their dorm a great way to warm up soup, oatmeal and noodles,” she said. “[It’s] also great for teachers and administrators for use in their office and break room.” She added that with space for a full-color insert, VisionUSA’s ThermalTraveller Tumbler has been popular with schools looking to showcase their architecture or logos.
Brian Padian, senior vice president of sales, Logomark, Tustin, Calif., said that drinkware is always in high demand at schools. “Students take water with them everywhere on campus today,” he said. He added that schools can use kitchen accessories or drinkware to promote healthy eating programs. “Having school-logoed products that can be purchased to help promote school spirit and good health at the same time really fills a need.”