Marketing to Generation Z – Everything Your Brand Needs to Know About the New Generation of Purchasers
It’s time for Millennials to move over – Generation Z are on their way. These are people who have grown up with a phone in their hand, a computer at their desk, and a world of technology at their fingertips. They’re a generation of the sort we’ve never seen before, and as they begin to come of age, they’re entering the consumer market.
By 2020, in fact, Generation Z (Gen-Z) will make up almost half (40%) of all consumers. They’ll be browsing and shopping in their millions, becoming a key target audience of many brands. But, with such a unique upbringing, and a whole lot of differences in the way they shop to millennials, how do you market to them?
Worry not! At Epitomise, we stay ahead of shifts in the fast-paced world of marketing, and we’ve got the low down on how to get these tech-savvy adults on board with your brand.
Who Are Generation Z?
There’s a little bit of controversy around when exactly Generation Z starts, but it’s generally considered to be between the mid 1990’s and the early 2000’s, usually around 1995 and 2012. It’s those that are currently reaching adulthood who your brand should be thinking about. They’re starting to work, earn money, and make some serious purchases.
So, who are they?
They’re very technologically savvy, to begin with, having grown up in a time where mobile phones developed as they did – some of them won’t even be able to remember a life before the iPhone! They’re also considered to be pretty wary of brands, which isn’t too surprising as they were born into the great recession, and are generally smarter when it comes to not being sucked into ‘idealistic’ marketing. They know what brands are trying to do and are less likely to fall for it.
To help you understand this group of new consumers better and learn how you can market to what appears to be a difficult group of shoppers, we’ve put together some of the information you need to know.
Get to the Point
Social media marketing isn’t a new technique, but it remains a vital way to reach Gen-Z. In fact, they spend longer scrolling through the likes of Instagram and Twitter than any other generation before them.
But, to capture their attention, your content needs to be direct and to the point. Unlike those who came before, Gen-Z social media users have more fragmented but frequent use, checking their feeds regularly, but not stopping for long periods of time to properly read through content. They also have less focus than previous generations, dropping to an attention span of 8 seconds compared to 12 seconds for millennials.
This means you have to create marketing that’s direct and can get across everything you want to say in one quick glance. Be clear about what you’re advertising and the message you’re trying to convey, and don’t beat around the bush.
Continuing with social media and digital marketing, influencers will remain a fantastic way to reach your Gen-Z youngsters. However, rather than celebrities who convey idealistic lifestyles, your new audience wants to see more ‘real’ people, who they’ll trust far more. Instead of models with unrealistic figures, celebrities with airbrushed lives, and people who just aren’t relatable, Gen-Z wants to see authenticity in influencers.
This is shown in a study conducted by Google, which discovered that of the teenage subscribers on YouTube, 70% found the YouTube influencers more relatable than your Hollywood-style celebrities, and they’ll therefore place more trust in their opinions.
Focus on Social Issues
Linking into this idea of authenticity when marketing, social issues are also at the forefront of Gen-Z consumer’s minds. So, when using an ad campaign, they want to see real people used for positive causes. Body diversity, gender diversity, and race diversity are all important, and things that your new target market will respond to.
Having values as a brand, whether that be eco-friendly or supporting the LGBTQ+ community, or whatever you choose to put your support into, is going to resonate with this socially conscious audience. They want to work towards a more positive, inclusive, and fairer world, meaning that if they can incorporate social activism into their shopping, they certainly will!
Social Media Customer Service
Customer service has always been an important aspect of creating a successful brand, but now it’s gone digital. Not only do your in-store staff need to be trained in the art of helping customers, your social media gurus do to. Gen-Z consumers will often use social media as their first port of call for logging complaints, and they expect fast (between 1 and 2 hours), friendly, and helpful responses.
Two studies show the importance of social media customer service to our Gen-Z audience. American Express reported that the chance of these younger shoppers completely disregarding a brand after an unsatisfactory reply on social media more than doubles. Meanwhile, Convince and Convert discovered that answering and resolving a complaint can give a 25% increase in customer advocacy.
Appeal to their Practical Side
In the past, marketing has focused a lot around being aspirational – making your potential consumer buy into a lifestyle or an idea rather than the product itself. For example, a sports car advert focuses on two attractive passengers, young and happy, driving through a beautiful landscape. It’s selling you the idea that that could be you, if only you have the car.
But with Gen-Z, they’re far too conscious to fall for that. Instead, they want you to show them how the product will actively enhance the lifestyle they currently have in a more realistic manner. They want to see the practicalities of buying your product.
Let’s say you’re selling a watch. They don’t want to see it on a suave gentleman or powerful woman, sauntering through a party looking fabulous. They want to be told that the watch uses newly developed technology to give the most accurate time, or has unbreakable glass, or can be worn 100 feet underwater. They want to know how the watch is actually different to another that they could buy. They want science rather than art.
Create a Lasting Connection
This isn’t exactly a new development in branding, but it’s certainly evolved with the arrival of Gen-Z. This new target audience want to connect with a brand, creating a trusting relationship which means they’ll go back time and time again. But how do you do this in a way that will appeal to them?
Well, first of all, you’re going to have become more authentic than ever before. Talk to your customers, rather than at them, as though you were two people have a conversation. Show that there are people behind your perfectly executed marketing and become more relatable. You can do this through social media interactions, blogs, and social media content such as videos. Show real people, use a more conversational tone, and add a personality to your brand.
There are already brands out there who are taking this new approach by storm. For example, the popular America food chain Wendy’s has become known for their witty, confident tweets and interactions. They push the boundaries, creating a real character for their brand that captures an audience’s attention. The reason it works so well? Because they’re not being professional, they’re being real. Gen-Z have responded by giving them almost 3 million Twitter followers, and a whole lot of social media attention.
Bring in the Professionals
If you think you’re going to struggle to adapt your marketing to this new generation, or that yours needs a bit of a boost, it’s time to bring in the professionals. Our digital marketing experts at Epitomise stay ahead of new trends and developments in the world of branding and marketing, which is why we know all about Generation Z!
We can help you identify your target audience, create strategies that are going to work for you, and make a brand that you and your customers will love. We’ll keep you up-to-date with all the latest in marketing, and ensure you have the best chance of becoming a roaring success.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can help, or ask any questions that you might have, drop us a message or give us a ring. We’re always happy to chat! You can also get a free quote that’ll give you an idea of how we can work with your budget to deliver the services you need.
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