Move over Millennials, Generation Z has arrived and they’re blazing their own path. A path that marketers are going to have to chase them down to capitalize on their immense buying power.
Generation Z consumers (generally ages 8-20) are not a simple extension of Millennials (now mostly ages 20-35). Life is far more uncertain for them, they’ve grown up with a weak economy, terrorism, political mayhem. They’re looking to get educated and working to make very real changes to the world they’ve grown up in. They’re penny pinching, pragmatic, indoorsy types with short attention spans. They’re socially active (think multitasking on 4 screens instead of 2), they literally never sign off, they’re constantly online. But they’re private about it, they don’t want to be tracked, they want to absorb everything they can without too much exposure.
Generation Z hates living in the shadow of Millenials. I don’t blame them since most marketers have become quite embittered trying to market to the impossible-to-please Millenials. But we can’t assume that we can just go back to old ways of marketing to a younger, tech-savvy generation. The fact is Generation Z, while much more pragmatic than their older Millennial counterparts, are still drawn to brands that have crafted real, engaging stories that their product lives up to. So here’s a few things to keep in mind:
Match ad messages with key strengths
This group is smart but skeptical so they see through marketing messages when the brand doesn’t back them up in real life. Don’t try to pull one over on them. Focus on what’s genuinely great about your brand and communicate that.
Move away from the “experience”
We’ve gotten so used to marketing to Millennials with messages focused on the “experience,” but Gen Z doesn’t want to spend their money on experiences, they want to buy cool things. Just be warned, they’re ultra-tech savvy and masters of research. So push your products hard, but make sure they pass the quality inspection test.
Give them something to share
This generation is constantly plugged in to multiple devices, across multiple platforms, in search of the next amazing piece of content. It’s incredibly difficult to go viral, but if you can craft a story, an image, a video, that evokes emotion, they will react to it and reward you by sharing it.