For millions of Gen Zers studying at college, a well-priced offer means the difference between affording - or not affording - a new computer, nice clothing, memorable nights out on the town, or a plane ticket home. Students love to save on what they buy - and marketers know it. A quick journey to any corner of the internet will reveal a near-endless supply of coupons, discounts and one-time sales events geared specifically towards students.
As Seth Godin once put it, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” But with the rapid rise of online coupon and discount affiliate marketing programs to drive ecommerce, the conversation around “what it means” to be a brand is shifting - and not necessarily for the better.
Across the board, the surveys all say that Gen Z feels confident about its future - and believes it can “change the world” when it comes to creating a more equal society. As a recent study on Gen Zers from Barkley and Futurecast suggests, brands appealing to Gen Z's innate belief in equality – as well as those that find ways to benefit and contribute to the future success of its individual members – stand a greater chance of gaining recognition and traction with the larger demographic.
The first thing that comes to mind about Gen Z is that they're in the habit of picking up nicknames. Marketers have already begun labeling them the iGen, Centennials and – of course – Gen Zers. But however you choose to address these youngsters, they're already beginning to make their voices (and consumer tastes) known at colleges and universities from coast to coast - and continent to continent.
Gen Zers might be less inclined to watch the Super Bowl than previous generations (this doesn’t mean they aren’t watching it by the tens of millions), but they love basketball more than anyone, millennials included. That’s great news for NCAA March Madness sponsors, but the trick - as ever - remains in winning over their much-divided attention.
When it comes to meeting Gen Z’s food cravings, fast delivery isn’t a “nice to have.” It’s an absolute must.
There's a widening gap between how marketers and younger audiences perceive advertising - and it could cost brands a fortune, unless they’re able to find new ways of engaging Gen Z audiences both online and in-app. When an entire generation prefers movie theater ads and outdoor signage over digital campaigns, you'd best pay attention.
Before we get into Gen Z, a word about generations.
They want to be part of it. If you’re a brand looking to convince Gen Zers to set aside their Snapchatting for the eight seconds it takes to earn their attention and lasting loyalty...then hats off to you, friend. You’ve entered into a brave, new world of student marketing where the rules of well-executed, omni-channel campaigns no longer fully apply.
We surveyed 1,893 college students in the US this summer to give you a breakdown of Gen Z’s dining and eating habits. Here’s what we found out about Gen Z, the individuals born after 1995 who currently flex $44 billion in spending power (make that $829 billion if you include what their families spend on them), and will represent 40% of the population by 2020: