A NEW, emerging generation of consumers is upon us.
It’s a savvy, pragmatic, and practical one.
And it’s very plugged in.
The first generation, in fact, do not know what it’s like to live in a world without a mobile device in-hand, or the Internet.
This is Gen Z.
And so there’s a question you must ask yourself: Is your brand ready to speak to this enigmatic generation as it comes of age?
Because if you’re not considering this generation now, know that by 2020 this group will account for approximately 40% of all consumers (according to a Fastcompany.com article).
That’s huge — for you and your brand.
WHO ARE THEY?Characteristics of Generation Z will surprise you.
Generation Z is the present and future generation, one that will give us a glimpse of what to expect from those born into a world with technology.
A quick snapshot.
- Born just before the turn of the century (that is, before Y2K), the oldest of their generation are currently starting university.
- Also know that they are considered the most fiscally conservative group; they do not believe they’ll be more financially successful than their parents.
- And while they’re financial futures are in doubt, they worry … a lot.
- They worry just as much about world issues, climate, and terrorism as they do about domestic issues.
- They aim to make all sexual orientations feel accepted.
- A growing percentage of male Gen Z-ers believe gender equality is a basic right, with gender stereotypes being considered offensive to most within the group.
- While it may be a given, it’s important to note that while they are very comfortable with technology, having grown up very plugged in, they’re more skeptical of technology than members of other generations, including Millennials.
- And to that end, Snapchat, Instagram, and BuzzFeed are particularly appealing platforms since there’s a perception of privacy (and their moms haven’t tanked those platforms like they did to Facebook).
TIME FOR A REBOOT.What marketers need to know now
It’s one thing to say that we, as marketers, need to start focusing on Gen Z consumers now.
But it’s something else to do it successfully – and truthfully many marketers feel like they just figured out Millennials.
However, to gain traction with these “kids,” we really need to know who they are.
So, here are a few things that you may want to consider in your marketing strategy and tactics:
- Advocate for positive media portrayals of men – Gen Z females are less likely to embrace themselves as being the primary shoppers in a household, so start focusing on men, and more often — men are becoming the primary caregivers and equal or secondary wage-earners.
- Avoid misogyny and sexism – we would say this is obvious, and everyone should stay away from it, but it’s also the Trump era, so it’s good to point out
- Shift focus from Millennials to Gen Z – you may feel like you just figured those Millennials out, but Gen Z is receiving little attention.
- Emphasize the practical nature and cause-related relevance of the products offered – Older Gen Zs are conservative and thriftier than their Millennial counterparts, so this appeals to the pragmatic nature.
- Social causes are important (environmental, healthy living), so those that support causes will go further in developing and maintaining brand loyalty.
- They put significant thought and research into a purchase, with moderately-priced, high-quality products creating more brand loyalty.
- Use social media and other mobile-based avenues to communicate – obviously.
Members of Gen Z are ready to deploy their full financial power as young adults.
To effectively target this generation, marketers also need to:
- Create value. Gen Z doesn’t sift through ads or passively take them in like past generations, they actually seek true value and meaning behind the messaging.
- Consider the messaging like a rodeo. Like a cowboy riding on the back of a bronco, eight seconds is all it takes to get their attention, and all they’ll allow.
- Strategically sell to them. There’s less brick-and-mortar in their future, so think about driving them to online resources for selling. And meet them on multiple screens (yes, TV, too).
- Prepare for an online conversation assault. Gen Z loves to be online and on social media. It’s what they know, and they know it well.
Learn more and additional sources:
- BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/41348207/were-not-lazy-were-innovative—generation-z-hits-back-in-live-debate
- Daily Mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3790614/They-don-t-like-drugs-gay-marriage-HATE-tattoos-Generation-Z-conservative-WW2.html
- Vision Critical – https://www.visioncritical.com/generation-z-statistics/
- Contently – https://contently.com/strategist/2016/06/30/5-things-marketers-need-to-know-gen-z/