Inspired by a podcast from McKinsey, we wanted to share some thoughts on how you might approach marketing to Generation Z, the demographic currently shifting the consumer market.
Here, we’ll explore Generation Z as a consumer demographic, delving deep into what they expect from the brands and businesses they buy from, and how brands can position themselves to tap into this hugely valuable market.
But who are Generation Z?
Born between 1995 and 2012/15, Gen Z have taken the place of Millennials as the youngest demographic with serious buying power.
Just as “authentic” branding and brand stories were essential to the young demographic before them, Generation Z take the desire for all things “authentic” further, seeking new levels of transparency from the brands they buy from.
It’s a real cultural change across the consumer market space, and brands are rapidly following suit, tearing down the curtain and revealing more than ever before.
No longer enough to “talk the talk”, brands must “do the do”!
With greater access to information about the brands and businesses they buy from, Generation Z want to ensure that brands are aligned with their values before making a purchase.
That’s right! More than just an annually created document, Corporate Responsibility really means something to Gen Z!
The demographic most committed to values-first shopping, they see luxury in a different way. While brand association is still of great importance, Gen Z are less interested in expensive logos, and place more importance on stand-out, unique brands and purchases, avoiding those that may come at an environmental or human cost.
With consumers seeking the unique, and with brands striving to provide it, this is the golden era for smaller niche brands. Their time to shine!
As the barriers to market entry in most industries have reduced dramatically over the years, and with access to a wide range of profitable platforms now available to all business, the stage is set for you to create the kind of shopping experience that Gen Z crave!
Carrying out far less routine buying, Gen Z are a discerning bunch who seek variety in their buying practises. Leaving brand loyalty to their Millennial cousins, businesses need to work hard for each and every Gen Z conversion.
Coupled with cancel culture and the social media age, the importance of brand values and transparency adds pressure to businesses to ensure their output, working practises, and all areas of their operations are above scrutiny.
Community & Conversation
In order to deliver the authenticity and transparency expected by Gen Z, businesses are unleashing the power of their marketing teams, encouraging them to be the true voice of the brand, generating discussion and responding to customers in a way never seen before.
Just look at Twitter! For many brands, this platform has become their customer care helpline, with social media execs protecting brand reputations in real-time, responding to complaints and questions as they come in.
However, it’s those brands that create an exciting community, one that consumers actively want to engage in, that have huge success with Gen Z!
By building brand advocates and micro-influencers, who in turn drive Gen Z towards the brand, these communities have an immense impact for the businesses that create them.
For Gen Z, it’s not about the influencers with a gazillion followers, it’s the micro influencers whispering to the few that help to build a genuine connection to a brand.
To truly leverage the opportunities presented by this demographic, brands, businesses, and their marketers must build communities, and turn their authentic voice and engaging conversation into consumer conversion.
These are ever changing waters, which we at The Marketing Optimist can help you navigate. Leave it to us to ensure that your business is seen and heard by your target audience, whoever they may be.