The new school year is upon us! Learn what storage needs students have, and how to best fulfil them.
September has finally rolled around, which means that universities and colleges are starting back up. That makes it a great opportunity to discuss the student market: How are they valuable, how can you maximise this target consumer, and what methods can you employ to do so? This article will answer those questions, and cover the basics of understanding and selling to the student market.
The student market
As with any other specific target consumer, the student market is distinct from all the others, and as a result their needs will be vastly different. Perhaps most obviously, their demand periods will be unique to any other type of consumer you’re trying to sell to. They’ll need self-storage almost exclusively during holiday periods. This is quite self-explanatory, as while they’re still on campus, they can keep their personal belongings in their own dorms and flats. You can obviously still market towards their semester needs, but demand spikes will also occur right before a major holiday such as Christmas or the summer break. Secondly, they won’t ever need many special requirements, just a simple unit. You won’t have to prioritise selling them a climate-controlled unit, and even if you do they will most likely not see the value in the higher cost. Thirdly, students will prioritise convenience over everything, except maybe price. Young people will rarely do extensive research, and will usually just go for the one that looks like the best deal.
What they’ll need and why they’ll need it
As a result of semester periods and the nature of the student market, their needs will be quite different. As we mentioned earlier, the most opportune times to focus marketing on students will be before a major holiday. They won’t be able to bring everything they’ve accumulated at university all back home, and so will be looking for a storage solution. The two biggest things a student will consider in choosing their storage solution are convenience and price. Students can notoriously be extremely frugal, so they won’t be willing to spend money on things they don’t deem necessary. So you should aim to provide the most competitive prices you can.
However, you should also remember to make your solution as simple and convenient as you can. Students don’t want to have to deal with their self-storage after pressing the ‘pay’ button, they’ll want the process to be as hassle-free as possible. Providing a valet service, providing boxes, and giving free pickup and collection will go a long way with a student, even if it costs them a bit more. You’ll have to walk the fine line between these two needs, as to create the ideal service for them. On top of this, students will rarely need long-term storage solutions, so make sure you have a package that promotes and caters to their short-term storage needs.
Selling to students
All that said, the way you market and sell to students will be different to other target consumers as well. Most importantly, they’ll usually know very little about self-storage itself, given that it’s a relatively niche field. As a result, you should position and market yourself and your company as experts in this field, creating a level of trust and expertise in the consumer. Other than that, you should primarily focus on where you are doing your promotion for students. Make sure that you’re in places you know they’ll be and can see your adverts. These will most likely include in person flyering on campus, physical marketing around campus, and online. Make sure to heavily invest in online marketing, especially in social media marketing. Ensuring a strong online presence is key when selling to a younger, and technology fluent audience. Finally, you now know when the demand for student storage will be at its highest, so time your marketing campaigns accordingly. It will save money and give your business the best chance at landing students, rather than running ads that won’t be taken notice of in February.
Students will be starting another strange year in their university education, and that presents a unique opportunity for self-storage businesses. Hopefully we’ve given you some more insight to what they need, why they need it, and how to fill their storage needs.
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