Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Brands targeting Gen Z need to look beyond the confines of traditional segmentation, the ultimate priority always has to be on alignment that helps us cultivate relationships with youth culture – not just organize it.-Gregg L. Witt – The Gen Z Frequency: How Brands Tune in and Build Credibility
Just when the marketers seemed to learn how to market their products to Millennials, it’s now time to understand and focus on the newest generation – Gen Z. If you are still wondering why businesses need to focus more on Gen Z right now, then let’s talk numbers. This generation makes up for 40% of the number of U.S. consumers, and by 2026 Gen Ziers will surpass millennials as the largest consumer base in the U.S.
And here’s more, it’s reported that Generation Z has $44 billion in buying power, but when you count their influence on parent and home purchases, their real spending power is closer to $200 billion, making it as vital and competitive to target as Millennials, or even more.
So I would say it’s crucial for businesses, especially if you’re working online, to get to know them. Gen Z consumers are a great opportunity for your business growth. And in this article I will help you to understand Gen Z better – who they are, what they value, what drives them and how to market your products to Generation Z. So here we go!
What is Gen Z?
Gen Z is the newest generation that was born between the years 1997 and 2012 following Millennials, but Pew Research recently defined Gen Z as anyone born after 1997. Some of the oldest Gen Ziers are finishing college this year and entering the workforce, meaning they can bring in major revenue, both theirs and the revenue from their parents, I’ve mentioned previously.
Gen Z grew up using the internet, social media and modern technology. Because of that a lot of times they can be stereotyped as tech-addicted, anti-social, or people call them SJW which stands for “social justice warriors”. And I personally respect that, as it is the most politically active, environmentally conscious generation and they always stand for what they believe in.
A lot of statistics say that Gen Ziers have an 8-second attention span, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t analyzing at a considerable level. Gen Ziers are not easily swayed by advertising, and they don’t typically buy products without having done some research on the brand.
Their rates of trust in advertising and the media vary significantly. They are hyper-cognitive and have a heightened perception of their surroundings. Their ability to filter information received through digital media is unparalleled. They know what they want and will use their digital filters to help quickly realize whether a brand, product or content is worth viewing further.
Generation Z loves content that has mixed cultures and races, small and big sizes, natural skin and hair, and less photoshop. They prefer to shop with brands that care about customers and build relationships with businesses that bring value to the world, as Gen Z is passionate about making a change in this world. So if you want your marketing strategy to succeed, make sure you take into consideration this new rising market force.
How To Market Your Products To Gen Z?
As you can see, it is an undeniable fact that Gen Z will have a significant influence on the future of marketing. So here are some marketing strategies on how to market your products and services to this influential group.
Establish Clear Values & Mission
Gen Z is shopping for products and services with a conscience. Social concerns are another area that make Gen Z’s spending habits distinctive. These young adults may be prosperous, yet they care deeply about the world around them. They are not impulsive spenders as Millennials are, and they are willing to spend their money if they believe it for a good cause or supports something important for them.
That’s why before marketing to Gen Z, it’s important for your brand to have its values and mission established.
Here are some Gen Z statistics: Gen Z fights for LGBTQ+ rights and 60% of them think that same sex couple shoud be able to adobt a child. This generation also supports diversity and 60% of Gen Ziers support increased racial and ethnic diversity. And they are also socially responsible and 70% prefer to purchase from brands that are considered to be ethical.
So it’s very loud and clear that this generation is passionate about making a change in this world and fighting for the values they believe in. So what can you do as an online business owner? Share the mission and values of your brand, promote it on your social media and website, partner with a charity or cause your brand is passionate about. Gen Z will shop with you if they know it’s not only about the money, but something more.
Work With Influencers
Influencer marketing is the practice of leveraging influential connections to help spread your brand’s message to your customers. The idea behind any form of influencer marketing is that people are more likely to listen to recommendations from a trusted source than they are a brand’s corporate website or advertisement. And for Gen Z influencers have become a cultural phenomenon.
They see them as their virtual friends and a trusted source of information. Because while influencers promote the products and services we want because, it makes us feel like we’re part of the process. And Gen Ziers expect influencers to promote the products they love.
My personal favorite example of great micro influencer marketing in 2021 is Gymshark – one of the most innovative fitness apparel brands, which has achieved incredible success in a very short space of time.
Without spending tons of money on advertisements like bigger brands do, Gymshark invested in the power of influencers and built a community of like-minded people. This made their brand unique and customers feel a belonging to the brand and of course buy their products.
When choosing which influencers you are planning to work with, you need to make sure they share similar core values to your audience, and promote similar causes to your brand’s mission statement. This way Gen Z can relate to them and buy products and services that they are promoting.
Social Media Content
Not only do Gen Ziers use social media platforms more than any other age group, they are also spending more time on it than any older generation. A recent study found that Gen Z consumers currently spend close to 6 hours per day on social platforms. And here are the top apps among 13 to 38 years old audience today: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Amazon, Netflix.
So in order to get their attention you must create entertaining and engaging content for them on these platforms. It needs to be authentic, informative and engaging. The engagement factor comes from the Gen Z experiencing a topic and connecting it to something important to them.
Entertainment helps them feel connected with your brand because they identify with your brand’s personality. You simply should deliver information about both in an authentic, human way. Create more videos about your products, brand, your team and maybe add some behind the scenes of your brand. Don’t underestimate the power of social media, as this is a place where you can reach your Gen Z audience.
You have heard about socially-conscious brands before: they talk about their values and their mission, and prove their commitment with social impact projects that go beyond the traditional social activities like donations.
In 2021 young customers are more conscious than ever about the social and environmental impacts of the brands they purchase from. Many people want the opportunity to make a difference with their money — it’s a way for them to self-identify as someone who is contributing to benevolence, sustainability, and equality.
Some people pay extra because they feel more socially responsible and want to support businesses that make the world a better place. Some people buy from brands with a social impact because they want to do their part for the environment. Others might just pay extra for products and services from socially conscious companies because they value these qualities, even if it does not affect their behavior.
And of course Gen Z is the most environmentally conscious population, it’s no surprise that 64% of them are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. Most of this generation is inspired by young activists who promote making changes to the world and support mother nature.
Brands like Pangaia care about our planet and promote it. Biodiversity, innovative materials, ocean, climate action, circularity, elevating human potential, philanthropy – these are their key missions. They have planted over 400,000 mangrove trees and started the Tomorrow Tree Fund, which is in the process of helping plant, protect and restore over 160,000 trees.
Their Bee The Change Fund launched and raised over $46,000 to protect the bees. And there are many more environmentally conscious actions mentioned on their website. This makes Gen Z customers buy their products as they know that their money goes to a great cause.
Knowing marketing trends for Gen Z is an essential part of keeping your business and marketing ahead of the game in 2021. So try leveraging a few of these trends into your digital marketing strategy and stay focused on the marketing updates, because online businesses can no longer afford to ignore this newest Generation Z, if they don’t want to be left behind their competitors and keep growing their sales.e-commerce marketing
It is absolutely true that retail has totally changed because of our current situation and employers has needed to find some ways to be unique among other businesses. But, of course, it is not easy to attract the buyers and stand out from other companies. I like the tip that the businesses should quickly respond to the needs of the customers. And I like this idea that buyers want their purchase have a value because it is key moment in the shopping.
Thank you for reading and commenting, Marina! It's hard to stand out from the crowd these days, right?