3 Tips For A Different Back-To-School Season

It’s May, a time of year when moms are looking forward to the end of school, the start of summer and a more relaxed schedule. However, May is a slightly different story for the moms of more than 3.2 million high school students who have graduated or will graduate over the next couple of weeks. Brands that target moms of college students and their Gen Z co-eds have a valuable opportunity to tap into this enthusiastic consumer segment.

Around here, we call the opportunity Back to College and it begins on May 1, the day that most colleges and universities require a commitment for accepted students. According to our research, more dorm- and college-bound products are purchased in the time between the day that acceptance letters go out to the day of high school commencement exercises. Moms and college-bound students are both mutually excited about the next phase of life and ready to become part of the college community.   

May is a great time for technology, dorm organization and dorm décor companies to launch their Back to Campus marketing and engagement. Here are just a few of the opportunities we’ve identified to take advantage of the money moms are spending getting their students ready for dorm and apartment life.

  • Graduation gifting: It’s a great time to use social media to suggest graduation gifts, not only to moms but also grandparents, aunts and siblings. Food providers like Chipotle, Five Guys and Starbucks have the opportunity to push gift card sales.
  • Technology: Every mom wants to send her student off to college with the newest technology and those large purchases make sense for gifting around graduation. If you offer a college student discount, now is the time to communicate and perhaps extend it to students with acceptance letters.  
  • Pinterest Shopping: Time to beef up Pinterest boards. Students are eager to plan the look of their dorm room or apartment. They are searching now for ideas. Create boards that incorporate your product into the dorm or apartment environment.



As the mom of a soon-to-be high school graduate, I speak from firsthand knowledge about the amount of shopping and planning we will be doing over the next few weeks. It’s an exciting time for students and parents, and a valuable opportunity for brands.

Congratulations to graduates and their families.

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