For those who don’t spend much time on college campuses, rest assured that college colors remain an important part of today’s campus culture. It’s one of those great traditions that seems to only grow stronger.

Students paint their faces, torsos, and all manner of things in their school colors. Tattoos. Toenails. Pajamas. Some schools have set their logo colors in flooring, then roped off that section so that no human may set foot upon them. We know at least one college president who will literally call out a student in public for wearing the colors of an in-state rival.

Why? Because a college colors represent the college brand. They differentiate, in a bold and exciting way, the difference between my school and all the other schools. Like battle flags of old, colors are a primal way the school identifies itself. Colors are fundamental in giving students – and alumni, for life – a way to identify themselves with their school.

We think the smart selection of on-campus brands is another great way for schools to differentiate.

We think smart retail brands have a great opportunity to get in the game, too. Don’t forget: Today’s college freshmen can be your core customers of the future.