Gen Z Insights is your source for the latest Gen Z marketing trends and perspectives, presented by UNiDAYS.

Subscribe to Blog

Are you one of Gen Z’s favorite brands? You can (and should) be.

by Danny Lee
    Download the report: Gen Z spending habits before and during COVID-19

    The highs and lows of Q3 for Gen Z

    Gen Z boasts a well-earned reputation for being a notoriously tricky demographic to get onyour side. So, how do you make students fall in love with your brand?...

    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. 

    Who is Gen Z and why should you care?

    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:

    1. Gen Z currently makes up 26 percent of the U.S. population. 
    2. They already command as much as $143 billion in U.S. spending power.

    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.

    How can brands build trust with Gen Z?

    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. 

    Gen Z's favorite brands

    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:

    Gen Z's favorite brands

    What are Gen Z values, and why should we care?

    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.

    Gen Z's favorite brands

    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

    Where should we speak to them?

    Gen Z's favorite brands

    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)

    Gen Z's favorite brands

    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.

    We’ve done the hard work

    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.

    Download the report: Gen Z spending habits before and during COVID-19

      Every hour UNiDAYS creates 10,000+ brand engagements for our partners


      The most defining Gen Z traits

      Gen Z isn’t into being tagged and packaged as a group, but there are certain defining traits that this cohort holds in common. Here are four of this...

      When it comes to money, we should all take notes on these Gen Z habits

      When you think of Gen Z vs Millennials, what do you think? Which group do you think is the most frugal? Which is more mindful about where they spend their...

      Vibe check: We asked Gen Z how they’re feeling about the holidays

      Over the past several months, UNiDAYS has conducted ongoing surveys among Gen Z students to get their insights and track any changes on topics ranging from...

      Here’s how Gen Z’s holiday preferences are changing in 2020

      In a valiant effort to make something good of 2020, statistics show that Gen Z are turning to “micro holidays”—smaller, less mainstream events that lend...

      Get Gen Z Insights straight to your inbox

      Think digital marketing is all it takes to reach Gen Z? Think again. Download the research report here.