Over the past decade, brands have asked the million dollar question, “how do we reach and attract Millennials?” Ahhh the Millenials. Now, it's time for marketers to turn their attention to the next generation of consumers: Gen Z.
Why? Brands that can connect with Gen Z now will be at a major advantage in the near future. Although these younger consumers tend to be currently less affluent, this cohort will become the primary spenders in the years to come. Brands that forge these relationships now have a strong chance of building strong life-long relationships (and loyal consumers).
WHO IS GEN Z?
Born between 1997 and 2010, they are currently between the ages of 13 and 26 years old. Interestingly, this group consists of two subsets:
Teen Gen Z ages 13 - 17
Adult Gen Z ages 18-26
THE NUANCED GENERATION
Many factorsmake up the behaviors, beliefs and attitudes of Gen Z. Some of their attitudes are even conflicting...
70% constantly worry about the future
60% are optimistic and confident about the future
60% consider themselves introverted
For brands, this means that plenty of opportunity exists to elevate your marketing strategy to reach and resonate this “nuanced generation.”
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Gen Z adults are focused on future financial goals
The largest portion of Gen Z is concentrated on reaching milestones that signify financial freedom. Brands, particularly those in the financial space, can help Gen Z establish themselves by providing resources such as how-to-videos, educational social posts or free and reduced consulting sessions to give this cohort a greater sense of control over their future. Brands in seemingly unrelated industries, such as beauty or health and wellness, can jump into this by partnering with financial brands or the circular economy.
For Gen Z, learning new skills is more important than ever
By learning a new skill, consumers can feel as though they are more prepared to tackle the road ahead of them. To provide this confidence boost to Gen Z adults, brands need to consider what they can do to help these young consumers increase their arsenal of knowledge. As an example, brands in the health or food space can teach Gen Z basic cooking skills to ensure they are properly set up with the skills to cook healthy meals.
Gen Z is invested in corporate social responsibility
It is crucial for businesses to address their internal business practices and show a true commitment to diversity – actually walking the walk as opposed to just talking the talk. They can do this by clearly communicating actions and initiatives put in place to combat and eliminate all forms of discrimination.
Additionally, brands can kick-start these programs by hiring a more diverse group of employees, especially ones in leadership positions that can spearhead these movements. Brands should also be prepared to have statistics that measure the results of these actions ready and available for consumers to see, as this will work as a way to keep companies accountable. Doing so will help brands connect with Gen Z by showing them that companies are willing to take actions to ensure that their voices are heard.
Gen Z is more diverse and should be represented as such
According to data from the US Census Bureau, each generation has been becoming increasingly more racially and ethnically diverse than the one before them. Additionally, Gen Z are the most likely to self-identify as LGBTQ+. As almost one third of Gen Z adults say they would feel better represented if they saw more racial diversity and more people who do not follow “traditional” gender stereotypes in advertising, it is important that brands take note and deliver on this desire if they want to accurately represent this generation.
THE BIG TAKEAWAY: SENSORY MARKETING
We should explore more sensory marketing...connecting the senses and bringing things online into tangible worlds. Sensory marketing has the potential to increase and enhance the level of engagement, adding dimension to brands while striking a balance between the nuances that define a new consumer generation. This notion is especially meaningful in marketing experiences, destinations and healthcare, but also applies to developing an emotional connection to products.
Want to know more about Gen Z and what it means for your brand? Drop us a line and we will set up a time to connect.