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Marketing to Gen Z Women: Understanding the Next Consumers

Born between the years of 1995 and 2012, Generation Z grew up with two features that leave marketers trying to understand what would be the best way to target this next wave of consumers. Discovering how to connect with them will be crucial as Generation Z will account for 40% of consumers by the year 2020.

Women of Generation Z were amongst those that grew up during a time with heavy social influence and in the remnants of a financial crisis. The approaches that were taken to engage Millennials are not interchangeable with the methods used to attract Gen Z. With that in mind, a new fresh approach must be taken to successfully market to Generation Z women.

Social values play a large role in reaching this demographic according to Anna Blue and Melissa Kilby, Co-Directors of the UN Foundation Girl Up. Gen Z’s view of a brands social values directly impact how they engage with that brand.

A survey of 3,500 Gen Z girls aged 14-to-19 hailing from the United States, United Kingdom, China, India, Colombia and more showed that 65% of respondents expect brands to take a stance on social issues and more than half of respondents believe that social values impact their buying decisions. 72% of the survey respondents believe it is vital to purchase from brands that are environmentally friendly.

Purchasing power as a tool for activism is a new concept that Gen Z views as inherent to who they are as activists. Aligning your product with social values aid in successfully marketing to Gen Z women. Inclusivity is one of the many concerns on the minds of activists. American Eagle’s adoption of a no-photoshop and an inclusive model campaign have increased sales in their sub-brand, Aerie, by 38%. Brand value in the eyes of consumers is linked to social impact and is a step in the right direction to understanding how to market to Generation Z women.

Success in marketing to Gen Z women might also be found in utilizing the many social media platforms of today. 89% of Generation Z women enjoy viewing content created by brands and most actively engage with it through their smartphones. 97% have agreed that they like to “see/discover branded content on their social media.” Despite the instances of success using social media, using it incorrectly may result in an unsuccessful marketing attempt.

Generation Z women place emphasis on authenticity. Influencers have been used as marketing tactic for ages, but this new generation is beginning to see through that. Celebrities are no longer viewed as trusted sources of information. The type of influencers Gen Z trust are authentic influencers that can make them feel a part of something, not as though they are just being marketed to. YouTube may be the key to successful Influencer Marketing. 70% of teen YouTube subscribers see their favorite Youtubers as more relatable and are more likely to purchase products marketed by them.

That doesn’t mean they’re frivolous spenders though. Generation Z were born in a time where their mindset was heavily shaped by the recession and filled with financial uncertainty. Unlike Millennials, Gen Z feels more inclined to be savers rather than spenders. Knowing what and what not to do can help brands successfully market to Gen Z women. They want independence and fractional ownership like renting and selling according to Forbes and the Telegraph UK. These might contribute to why sharing companies like Airbnb, Uber, Citibike and more are so successful.

Gen Z is the largest generation yet beating out Millennials and the Baby Boomers. Although they may not have much buying power yet, their time isn’t far away. Learning how to market to Generation Z women is important for companies and financial institutions to do in order to succeed in the forever changing market.

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