Chegg Research Unveils The "Made-To-Order" Generation

Third-Annual Survey Showcases Marketing Insights for Impact with 16-to-24-Year-Olds

Sep 24, 2013, 11:11 ET from Chegg

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Chegg, the student hub, today revealed the findings of its third-annual "Undercover With College Students" survey profiling attitudes and behaviors among this important and influential group. According to the survey, today's college students customize their own experiences across most aspects of life.  While past generations focused on "fitting in," today's 16-to-24 year-olds expect "made-to-order" solutions tailored to their personal circumstances and preferences.  This has important implications for brand marketers targeting this demographic.

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"College students expect choice and the ability to control many aspects of their lives," said Elizabeth Harz, vice president of business development at Chegg.  "Marketers who understand how today's 16-to-24-year-old consumers think and customize their approach to engaging this 'made-to-order' generation have an advantage.  We help them gain and leverage this perspective."

This "made-to-order" generation customizes three important aspects of college-student life:

  • Educational Experiences: Today's college students are deliberate in their approach to managing time and actively use technology to acquire their degrees and study more effectively.
    • 3 in 4 students agree that "technology makes studying more efficient," with 61% of students using shared study documents, 53% watching lectures online and 48% using online homework help or tutoring services.
    • Online courses help students orchestrate their days. 3 in 4 college students have taken an online course, with the primary motivation (73% agreement) being "to fit into my schedule."
  • Media Usage: College students are avid consumers of information and entertainment. They utilize devices and services that enable maximum flexibility in how, when and where they consume media. They are each their own media empire!
    • Mobile usage continues to grow among this group, with students spending 13 hours per week online on their mobile devices – an increase of 150% since 2011.
    • Video streaming is extremely popular among this group, with 64% reporting they have access to a premium streaming subscription and 33% reporting they watch all of their content only via streaming online or through a television.  At the same time, cable and satellite subscriptions are declining in popularity. Only 59% of students report having a cable or satellite subscription – a decrease of 44% since 2011.
  • Brand Relationships:  College students are selective about the brands they pay attention to, responding to those that make them feel special – through stellar customer service, social responsibility or a personalized offer.  They are also leading brand advocates when they are fans.
    • Students appreciate a personal dialog with brands, with 80% reporting they "expect near real-time customer service."
    • Brands that earn students' loyalty can benefit greatly from word of mouth.  84% of students surveyed report that they "advocate for brands who reward my loyalty," and 61% follow a brand on social media.
    • Students respect companies that exercise commerce with conscience, with 88% reporting "it is important for companies to give back to the community" and 80% reporting "it is important for me to buy from companies that have responsible business practices."
    • Giving students the opportunity to try a product for free yields positive results.  49% of students who received a free product sample on campus talked to their friends about it, 23% purchased the product and 13% posted about the product on social media.

Chegg will reveal its original research at 11am ET today during Advertising Week in New York.  For a summary of key findings from the 2013 "Undercover With College Students" study, please email

About Chegg:
Chegg, the student hub, is transforming the way millions of students learn by connecting them to the people and tools needed to succeed in college through homework help, course selection, eTextbook and textbook options as well as school and scholarship connections. Students nationwide use Chegg 365 days a year to make learning easier, more accessible and more productive. As a part of the company's philanthropic efforts, Chegg is dedicated to its Chegg For Good program, which empowers students to be a catalyst for change on their campus, in their communities and around the world. From starting as a textbook rental company to evolving into the student hub, Chegg is enhancing education for millions of students by saving them time, saving them money and helping them get smarter.

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