By: Jailene Peralta, KNect365 Social Media Marketing Intern
Brands have spent years trying to understand how to market to the impulsive yet empowered Millennials. However, a new generation known as Generation Z is on the rise. Gen Z is the cohort of individuals who were born after 1995. In other words, Gen Zers are the quite younger siblings of the boisterous and entitled Millennials. According to Forbes, Gen Zers will make up 40% of consumers by 2020. Brands that do not make the effort to understand the Gen Z consumer now, will fail to reach a large percentage of consumers later.
Now, take notes as I reveal the six key things brands need to know about Gen Z.
Brands with visions are brands that will thrive in attracting Gen Z consumers. Gen Zers are independent individuals who work hard for their money. Thus, they only spend their money on brands who deliver. Brands must sell more than merely a product. They must sell a story or a movement as only then will they have the loyalty of Gen Z in return.
Be real, be truthful
In 2014, Aerie ran untouched ads that challenged supermodel standards. The response Aerie received for making such a bold move was overwhelmingly positive. For Gen Zers, brands like Aerie are leaders who are honest and truthful with their consumer. Brands that understand what it means to appeal to a human rather than societal standards will intrigue Gen Z consumers.
Gen Zers do not know a world without technology meaning that brands only have eight seconds to grab their attention. As they multitask between their laptop, their phone, the TV, and their gaming console, there are hundreds upon hundreds of ads that Gen Zers encounter everyday making it essential for brands to understand that appealing to Gen Z should be as easy and as fast as snapping a finger.
We believe in the “doers”
The presidency of Donald Trump has taught Gen Zers that their voices are important and that the world, more than ever, needs leaders who are action focused. Gen Zers, unlike their Millennial counterparts, let their actions speak for them. Therefore, brands who are like Gen Zers and use their actions instead of their words will thrive immensely in the coming years.
Partnering with celebrities is not cool anymore
Long gone are the days when Kim Kardashian partnered with toilet paper brands. And frankly, long gone are the days when brands used celebrities to attract young consumers. All Gen Zers know that their life will not suddenly become fabulous if they buy the pair of shoes that Selena Gomez wears every time she goes out for lunch. The best way for brands to be relatable, “hip”, and attract the Gen Z consumers is to always keep a normal and honest consumer in mind.
When trying to attract the Gen Z consumer, brands must ensure that they are accessible across all mediums. Gen Zers are experts at using all types of technology. Therefore, if they are unable to access a brand’s website through their phone or gaming console, they will forget all about it. Brands that are on Social Media show the Gen Z consumer that they want to interact with their customers and keep up with what is affecting the lives of consumers.
In the end of the day, intriguing the Gen Z consumer will be difficult for many brands. However, the first step is to always understand the needs of the consumer. Is your brand ready to appeal to Generation Z?
About the Author: Jailene is a 17- year- old blogger who enjoys literature, walking around New York City, and learning something new everyday.