How to Market to Gen Z, According to Gen Z
Despite stereotypes of tech-dependence and gnat-like attention spans, Gen Zers have proven to be one of the most pivotal generations—and one that marketers should be prepared for. With a spending power of over $140 billion, Generation Z is also the most racially and ethnically diverse generation ever.
Born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s, Gen Zers are no stranger to technology and are often coined “digital natives.” This tech-savvy and diverse generation of consumers challenges traditional marketing methods, but one thing is for certain: they’re one cohort of consumers that brands want to win over. As a Gen Zer and marketer myself, here are some insights on how to connect with the Gen Z demographic:
1. Get to the point and be bold.
With an attention span of 8 seconds (4 seconds less than millennials), it’s important for brands to get to the point. As Generation Z can instantaneously access a wealth of information at their fingertips, they’re accustomed to making decisions quickly. With this in mind, brands should communicate their message clearly and quickly—or be at risk of losing their audience. Along the same lines, one of the best ways for brands to catch Gen Z’s attention is to make content that is eye-catching and bold. To engage with Gen Z, say goodbye to the sleek, modern, minimal content from the Millennial era. Gen Z gravitates toward brands that are fun and have personality, so try to think of ways you can stand out from the crowd.
2. Lead with your purpose.
Gen Z wants brands to be more than just a brand. We want to support businesses that align with our values and have a purpose. Data shows that 62% of Gen Z prefer to buy from sustainable brands and 72% are more likely to buy from a company that is socially responsible. This means that brands need to communicate their values and demonstrate that they stand for something more than their bottom line.
3. Be authentic and transparent.
Gen Z places great importance on a brand’s authenticity and transparency. Vague messaging about a brand’s purpose isn’t going to cut it. What’s becoming increasingly apparent about Gen Zers is that they are quick to challenge brands when they fail to follow through on their commitments. Remember, Gen Zers are master researchers, and if a brand is talking the talk but not walking the walk, we will call them out. This is the generation of no BS, and we expect brands to uphold the standards they claim. With trust comes loyalty, so give Gen Z the honesty we seek.
There’s no question that activating Generation Z is a huge opportunity for brands. In order to reach Gen Z, marketers must understand our needs, interests, and values. Understanding who we are and what we care about is key. The brands who follow the core tactics of being bold, purpose-driven, and authentic are the ones who will find true success when it comes to connecting with Gen Z.