Generation Z – those who were born between 1997 and 2010 – have grown up in a highly digital world. They are far different from Millennials and have been known to hold distinct thoughts, beliefs and values in comparison. As a huge population of incredibly diverse, technologically advanced individuals, nothing short of spectacular will impress Gen Z without some dedicated thought behind it.
According to research, 42% of Generation Z say that they interact with their smartphones more than they do with people, with a less guilty conscience for doing so than previous generations.
the impact of Covid-19
The pandemic changed the way Gen Z look at life. They are never going to look at school, work or social events in the same way again.
Their open nature of vulnerability, their expert ideals on technology and their desire for personal touch sets them aside from the rest. Gen Z is keeping a close eye on how your brand reacts to crises like Covid-19 and how honest or thoughtful you are with your consumers before investing any money in your business. Welcome to the new world where values and social responsibility are your biggest selling points.
Social focus is now essential and can’t go ignored – a shocking 89% of Gen Z said that Covid-19 has affected their purchasing decisions. Gen Z wants to give their attention to brands that benefit and add value to the community, implementing pensive strategies with authenticity and the audience in mind. This can include things such as:
- Honesty and transparency when it comes to brand strategies and any challenges
- A support system for Gen Z and their journeys
- Involving Gen Z as active partners to help get the right conversations flowing
- Standing up for Gen Z values
It goes beyond selling and creating products and Covid-19 gave brands the perfect opportunity to engage with Gen Z in a more meaningful way during such unprecedented times. Brands that treated the pandemic as a way of supporting their consumers were well-loved by Gen Z during these hardships.
get their attention
Getting their attention is just the start. Gen Z regularly research brands through their preferred online channels, but that doesn’t mean the tech-loving age group relies on a completely digital scope. They expect brands to offer the same dedicated experience in both stores and online. It’s not necessarily the products on offer, it’s the overall omnichannel experience that the brand provides.
say goodbye to traditional marketing practices
Influencers have become the new way to get your voice out there, but they come at a hefty price and without the guarantee of bringing in sales. However, it’s a gamble that Gen Z doesn’t care too much about.
Authenticity is paramount, and if you are going to use influencer marketing, micro-influencers are the way forward, increasing engagement by 60% for brands that utilise them. With fewer followers, micro-influencers feel more ‘’real’’ which Gen Z believes to be more reliable and trustworthy where product opinions are concerned.
Carefully crafted, visually pleasing (Gen Z would call them ‘staged’) social media posts that millennials die for are no longer catching the attention of Gen Z. They want real, thoughtful posts with honesty reigning throughout. Selling for the sake of making a sale won’t cut it with Gen Z, they want something that provides great value.
Clothing brands such as ASOS and Pretty Little Thing have caught wind of this preference, and have stopped photoshopping models to be ‘perfect’ so that consumers feel at home instead of under pressure to live up to unrealistic expectations when shopping with the brand. Unfiltered, untouched marketing is what speaks to this cohort.
engage on a personal level
Automation is a great way for businesses to keep on top of everything, but reviews need to be more personalised in order to impress Gen Z. They want brands to respond to feedback personally, as a way to decide your level of authenticity. Tailoring review responses will show your audience that you’re not relying on a standard automated reply – whether it be positive or negative feedback. Show that you care.
Your sales strategy needs to tell a story to clutch at the heartstrings of this considerate generation, which includes explaining how your product can add value or be of service. Social channels such as TikTok have created a platform where you can discover new brands, watch reviews on products and witness all of the latest trends come to life – feeding Gen Z’s intricate research process.
take social responsibility
Gone are the days where brands can stay neutral on societal issues. Gen Z wants brands to take a clear stand on social struggles and believe that staying silent shows a lack of vision or fear of offending consumers. Gen Z expects businesses to at least make their opinion known on the issues of today – especially after a year of many trials and tribulations.
This group of inspired individuals want to make a change in the world and 60% of them want to positively change the world through their work, which leads them to expect brands to do the same.
storytelling on a time limit
As we mentioned earlier, Gen Z loves to follow a story, but only if it’s eight seconds or less. The average attention span is short, and it can be tough to try and fit in everything you want to talk about in such a short amount of time. With video, however, you can capture the attention of Gen Z with the click of a button.
Instagram stories, Facebook stories and Snapchat offer the ability to share everything you need to say in a quick and easy solution via video or image that appears for a few seconds and stays on your profile for up to 24 hours.
they know the algorithm game
Gen Z knows how to take the algorithm into their own hands. Most will purposely like, comment on and share particular posts to train the algorithm into showing them the content they want to see. They know what they want and what they don’t and are good at filtering through the masses with the right technology. How are you going to give Gen Z the content they want when it comes to your brand?
Never underestimate the power of Generation Z and its ability to seek out transparency. If you want your marketing to be successful in 2021 and beyond then you need to put Gen Z first. It’s an entirely different world to take in compared to other generations, but once mastered, you will be rewarded for your hard work.
Get in touch today to find out more about how Rooster can help with your marketing strategy.