If you aren’t currently including Generation Z as part of your marketing efforts you are making a mistake. By 2020 Generation Z will make up half of the consumer base in the global market.
Trends point to a younger generation that is more ambitious and eager to prove themselves and they are as socially aware as they are tech savvy. They have been raised their entire life with electronic gadgets and that has made Generation Z fundamentally different than the generation of their parents.
One thing that stands out the most when analyzing this generation is their slant towards individualism. In general, they do not try and be something that they are not because genuine uniqueness is valued by Gen Z. What this means for you is that an attempt at emulating trends will come off as fake and phony and will likely be rejected.
It is important for smart marketers to place themselves into the viral lifestyle in order to effortlessly communicate with this audience through current viral trends. Some specific things you can do to tap into these trends are: pay attention to memes, hashtags and popular social networks and adapt what you see in your marketing efforts.
Always stay true to your brand identity when dealing with Gen Z. Your values and culture must come through and appear authentic. With so many choices in this global hyper connected marketplace, it’s important you offer value to the Generation Z crowd in order to capture their attention and patronage.
You can’t underestimate the influence social media has on Generation Z. While it is unfair to categorize the generation as selfish, it is true that appealing to their ego is a sure way to connect with them. Social media is a perfect example of this idea manifesting itself into everyday life as the social connections they make through these sites and apps directly affect their happiness.
While it is tempting to label the generation as coddled or spoiled it is important to remember that Gen Z has grown up during a time of genuine recession and global war. Things like terrorism, the banking crisis of 2008 and loss of faith in their government has produced a generation of activists.
Not content simply living for themselves, they’d rather leave an impact on the world when it comes to their chosen profession. They demand the same values from the brands they choose and many times will only stay loyal to companies that are conscious of their environmental footprint.
Companies that produce tools that make the world a better place or represent positive ideas through branding will reap the benefits in their bottom lines. It is important then to adopt strategies that are focused on humanity as a whole as opposed to those that only help the enterprise itself.
The sheer amount of imagery the average consumer from this generation will see before their 15th birthday is truly staggering. Hundreds of thousands of advertisements have been analyzed, catalogued and discarded long before they’ve seen yours.
The best messages are those that communicate quickly and many companies have discovered that the best way to grab and hold a consumer’s attention is through the use of GIFs. Because of its brief nature, the GIF is able to pass the Gen Z filter for making decisions and gives brands an opportunity to communicate.
The lessons of previous generations are not lost on Generation Z. They’ve seen millennials try and fail to find suitable jobs after getting their degrees and they do understand the importance of securing stable income as soon as they can.
But this is not a generation willing to take up an idle job to pay their bills. They’d rather donate their time to volunteer efforts or establish an online network.
It is important then that you use their own brand building as agency for your own messages and advertisements. Tools at your disposal you can use include virtual focus groups and influencer campaigns. Make your customers feel like social media ambassadors and this will help you secure their brand loyalty.
You must realize that you’re dealing with a group of realists. Generation Z is solution oriented and as long as you know this and use it in your marketing efforts they will stay loyal to your brand for years to come.