I posed the question below in a forum of business professionals. This is what some of them had to say.
What is the biggest problem companies have when having college students represent their brand on campus?
Recruiting Quality Students?
Communication on a regular basis?
Getting Campus Info?
False Documents/Staged Pics?
Josh who is VP of Market Development at ClientAccessWeb says
I think that that the biggest issue would be to make sure and find the right college students to represent their brand. Since we are all affected by peer pressure and what is going on around us, having a rep who does not reflect your companies brand may find leads or interest by other students, but not the targeted students.
Ian who is Media Manager, UK at PHD Media says
I used to be an Student Brand Manager for an agency and would say recruiting the right Account Manager / Agency is essential.
Also, providing something more than just pay and experience is a really good way of keeping your SBM team motivated and on target to deliver effective results. The company I worked for ran a scheme in conjunction with the Chartered Institute for Marketing, and I was required to keep a detailed log and portfolio of my work. This portfolio was in turn submitted to the CIM and I received a recognition (Career Development) Award which was a rather official looking certificate.
Obtaining this award enabled me to find work for a major advertising agency and gave me confidence that the work as an SBM I’d undertaken was valuable and worth talking about. It goes without saying that getting the right staff to represent the brand is essential, consider an open day where you invite a range of prospective candidates to the company, show them your brand excite them with how their contribution will develop the brand and pick the best candidates with the right outlook.
Failure to do this will inevitably result in performance issues.
P.S. The company I worked for a ran a national campus V campus competitions each time a campaign went live, with the winning SBM winning extra pay and recognition- a really good motivator to the right candidate.
Josh Chernin who is General Manager at Web Industries says
By far the biggest problem is consistency…or to put it another way, unpredictability. College students can turn on a dime. A competing brand can spring up overnight and become the new object of their affection. If there is any bad publicity around your brand, they’ll abandon it immediately. Ian’s suggestion about having a brand manager on campus to monitor developments is a good one.