Born between 1996 and 2010, Generation Z includes a staggering 40% of total U.S. consumers. Since this generation grew up with smartphones, the Internet, and social media, they are more likely to buy from brands that have established clear values, show inclusivity, and have a strong online community. This tech-savvy group of people is the most racially and ethnically diverse generation ever and has a spending power of over $140 billion. This article will uncover more powerful ways to connect with this generation.
GEN Z VALUES AND BELIEFS
Before attempting marketing efforts toward Gen Z, your brand needs to establish its values and mission. This is because Gen Zers are “inclined to vote with our [their] dollars and believe a brand’s values are a reflection of our [their] own”. Gen Z is more likely to spend their money with brands that share their same values and beliefs than with brands that go against their values and beliefs. They are also 3x more likely than the older generations to believe that a company plays a role in improving our society. One way for a brand to show that they share the same beliefs would be to donate to organizations such as BEAM (Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective)—an organization dedicated to the healing, wellness, and liberation of Black marginalized communities. Other topics that Gen Z is passionate about include LGBTQ+ rights, diversity, and social responsibility. When clearly defining your brands’ values, you will be able to differentiate your brand from others in your industry. The establishment of your brand’s values and communicating them effectively is key to connecting with Gen Z.
BE TRANSPARENT WITH GEN Z
The next step in your Gen Z marketing strategy is to make certain you have full transparency and are taking accountability for any mishaps. For Gen Zers, brand trust is only second to price in terms of determining which brands they will support. As we have covered already, Gen Z is not Internet shy. They
will do their research and do a deep dive into a brand’s website, their social media accounts, and read their comments and reviews. Gen Z wants to be able to trust that the brands they shop with are honest and do not have anything to hide. Company culture is extremely important to Gen Z, and your brand should uphold the same values, both externally and internally.
GEN Z AND YOUR BRAND’S PERSONALITY
To engage and connect with Gen Z, you must drop the Millennial-focused aesthetic of perfectly curated content. Whereas Millennials prefer sleek and minimal imagery, Gen Zers want brands that are bold and have a strong voice and personality. Being light-hearted and silly can go a long way with marketing toward Gen Z. For example, Crocs and KFC collaborated to target a younger audience. The shoes have fried chicken all over them, and as silly as that sounds, they sold out! A great way to showcase your brand’s personality and connect with Gen Z is to use TikTok. Similar to the late app, Vine, TikTok is extremely popular amongst Gen Z.
BUILD A COMMUNITY
Another marketing strategy to attract Gen Z is to build a digital community. According to surveys, Gen Z is the loneliest generation in America, so they are aggressively seeking ways to engage and connect with like-minded individuals. Knowing this, brands can help facilitate connections and conversations. As a brand looking to connect with Gen Z with the use of other people, social media influencers are not always the way to go. You can try working with real people who have interesting platforms and embody your brand’s values. These ambassadors can be a creative, an artist, a thought-leader, or an activist. Whoever they are, you want to be sure they can tap into their networks in a way that feels less transactional and more authentic.
Another way to build a community is to either request advice and feedback from Gen Zers during the product development stage or commemorate customers who have been loyal to your brand for years. This will not only help to bolster your sense of community but establish brand trust.
Gen Z marketing is a great way to connect and engage with this younger generation. This new type of consumer is value-conscious, loves bold brand personalities, and is seeking community amongst one another.