Being one of Gen Z's favorite brands is more than just a title—it's a ticket to lifetime loyalty and $143+ billion in spending power. But it'll take more than your traditional marketing scheme to reach this diverse and socially-active generation.
Born between 1997 and 2012, some marketers might be tempted to write Gen Z off as too young (and possibly too broke) to pay much attention to. But before you become one of the nay-sayers, consider these two essential facts:
And this is all before many of them have even graduated and gained access to ‘adult money.’ So, take this opportunity to start building relationships. You might say, ‘Cool, thanks for the advice, we’ll start taking notice of them’. But it’s not as simple as that.
Gen Z is different from generations gone by—they’re the most diverse, frugal, values-oriented cohort yet—and you’re going to need to work hard to gain their trust. But that’s okay, because we’ve already done the hard work for you, here in our Gen Z Marketing Playbook.
With this generation, marketing is all about trust and authenticity, so if you want to appeal to them, and build loyalty that lasts, you’ll have to sail some potentially uncharted waters. For starters, Gen Zs take what their friends and family recommend seriously—and this translates to their purchasing decisions. They need to trust who they’re buying from before they buy.
There are loads of ways to gain their trust—your brand just needs to find the route that suits it best and determine precisely who your target audience is.
Need some inspiration? Our team always has its finger on the pulse of Gen Z’s favorite brands, and we feature them in our ongoing BrandZ We Love series. Learn from the best:
The recession of 2008 had a lasting impression on Gen Z, who were young children at the time. Many of them watched as their families struggled financially, causing them to do whatever it takes to avoid that same fate. As a result, Gen Zers are extremely practical with money.
But don’t misinterpret Gen Z’s caution with money as pure frugality. Zs are definitely willing to spend money in exchange for perceived value, but they want (and expect) quality products and experiences, not throwaway goods. Offer them a lifestyle, not just a product.
What else do we know about Gen Z values? For one, they are looking for brands that think of others, are inclusive, and ‘social’. They need to know your brand is making the world a kinder place to live in some way, shape, or form. More on that here.
While it’s accurate to say that Gen Zers are overwhelmingly mobile-first, that’s certainly not the only way to get their attention. True, they’re even on their cell phones when browsing store aisles and walking down the street, but television still remains a strong influence on them (53 percent say they pay attention to TV commercials).
Equally important is old-school out-of-home advertising, with 84 percent of Gen Zs saying they pay attention to advertising in places such as trains, airports, taxis, and malls. Plus, 58 percent discover new brands just by walking past stores, 54 percent are captured by in-store merchandising, and 45 percent say window displays spark their interest. (Source: The Gen Z Marketing Playbook)
Nonetheless, mobile devices are an essential gateway to making a purchase. Gen Z use them as a tool to research and discover what they want, so make sure you’re using your digital space(s) to inform them about who you are, not just what you sell.
For a more in-depth look at who Gen Zers are, why and how to talk to them, download the Gen Z Marketing playbook. You’ll find everything you need to know about this generation, based on a series of surveys we conducted with Gen Z college students ages 17 to 23 from the U.S., the U.K, Australia and New Zealand. Don’t miss out.
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