Scholarships help brands reach Gen Z

How marketers are using scholarships to build brand trust and connect with this demographic.

Posted: August 16, 2022

(Image credit: Pixabay)

Marketing your brand to Gen Z is no easy task, especially with supposedly short attention spans and ad blocking software. Marketers are now looking to solve the problem of how to reach this younger demographic by focusing on college debt.

Scholarship-based marketing campaigns benefit students and are used to generate brand trust and connection, expand audience reach, expand audience diversity, and reduce marketing spend.

How Brands Use Scholarships

Brands such as Subway and Dunkin’ are investing in scholarship initiatives to retain Gen Z consumers.

Dunkin' Scholarship Fund
Dunkin DMV Regional Scholarship Program

The Subway Fresh Start Scholarship awarded $625,000 in scholarships to 250 of its employees in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Australia, QSR reports. “Tuition assistance is one of the three pillars of our mission. Providing this assistance allows us to fuel the potential of these exceptional students and future leaders,” said Michele DiNello, Executive Director of the Subway Cares Foundation.

Dunkin’ teams up with America Stock Exchange to launch its first regional scholarship program this year, which invests $100,000 in scholarships for middle and high school students in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, according to a press release.

Duck Tape held its 22nd annual Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest, which awards students with $10,000 college scholarships for the best prom outfits created using duct or tape. brand craftsmanship. One of this year’s winners spent 143 hours and used 45 rolls of tape to design her dress, Fox News reporting.

Gucci has just announced the winners of its North America Changemakers Impact Fund and Scholars Program, which includes 12 beneficiaries who each receive a $20,000 scholarship as well as a 6-week virtual internship at Gucci America, per Daily Women’s Clothing.

The Scholarship Opportunity for Marketers

We already know Gen Z wants a personalized brand experienceand that more than 60% of Gen Z and Millennials use ad blockersmaking it a particularly difficult audience to reach.

What could be more personalized than offering scholarships that offer Gen Z consumers a solution to one of their biggest problems?

“Instead of feeling targeted by a brand, students feel recognized and supported and they proactively engage with the scholarship provider,” according to the Scholarship Application Blog. The blog also notes that marketers “can cut customer acquisition costs 2-3x over traditional ad platforms and reach the coveted Gen Z audience.”

Tools such as ScholarshipApp and the University Scholarship Platform Kaleidoscope Group can help marketers create their scholarship marketing programs. Kaleidoscope Group launched a self-service Award Builder program this year that allows brands to create scholarship marketing programs for free through its platform and connect with students, according to Forbes.

As Gen Z redefines the way marketers interact with consumers, expecting a more authentic relationship with brands that reflect their own values, fellowships could be an invaluable way to build lasting relationships with them.

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