Consisting of consumers born after 1997, Generation Z has become an undeniable force in the current marketplace. According to a recent report from Forbes, the demographic accounts for just over 40% of all consumers.
Unlike the generations before them, each with their own quirks and buying habits, there is something about Generation Z that is like no other. After all, Gen Z is the first generation to grow up almost entirely online. With complete access to social media by the end of their elementary school years, they are no strangers to sharing their private lives with the public and having complete visibility on the world around them. They are also no strangers to traditional marketing ploys and seem to be hyper aware of when they are being marketed to.
While Generation Z’s no holds barred attitude is refreshing, they can be quick to judge and speak out on what they believe to be right. There is little room for error when approaching this generation, and – so it seems – even less room for forgiveness.
When it comes to marketing brands to Generation Z, it can feel like an abnormally tough field to navigate. While not impossible, there are key factors to be aware of; new standards that are demanded by the youth of today.
If You’re Neutral, that’s a No-Go
Neutrality is, it would seem, a surefire way to lose the market’s most crucial consumer base. Gone are the days of brands actively keeping quiet and removed from politics and world issues. There is no longer room to turn a blind eye to current affairs, and Generation Z is more clear about that than anything else. Taking a stance and vocalizing said stance through brand advertising and social platforms will add appeal — particularly for larger companies.
Transparency is Key
Tell it like it is, and tell it fast. The average Gen Z’ers attention span is eight seconds. Already oversaturated by the media, many Generation Z’s don’t take the time to dig into the brands they are interested in. Brand stories that are up front and completely transparent are going to pull in the younger audience of today.
Loyal No More
As with transparency and the issue of oversaturation, “tried and tested” no longer rings true to many members of the new generation. With seemingly endless product options being marketed to Gen Z through various social media endeavors, relying solely on their loyalty causes a problem for even the most successful of brands. In that, innovation and consistent refreshing of marketing campaigns is imperative to the longevity of today’s brands.
While all generations vary in their demands, it’s safe to say that Generation Z stands out above the rest. While brands are no doubt struggling to navigate the demographic, they are the most important demographic to speak to. After all, they have a spending power of $143 billion per year.
What is the moral of the story? It is now, more than ever, crucial to get to know your audience. And tell them the truth… in eight seconds or less.