How old is Generation Z? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. They were born sometime between 1995 and 2014, so they’ve either been adults for a few years or they’re just heading to kindergarten. Their exact age isn’t their most important feature in terms of marketing. Generation Z has power because they were raised with the Internet – they don’t remember a time before constant connectivity. They may not even remember MySpace.
Millennials may be entering or making up a huge part of the workforce, but Generation Z are the customers brands have to market to. Plus, this younger generation is impacting the older one, mainly by influencing how their parents are choosing products and shopping. Knowing how to cater to Generation Z-ers is a must for brands that want to stay ahead of the marketing curve.
Be Present and Accessible on All the Screens
Millennials use a lot of screens — three on average. Gen Z-ers use even more screens though, averaging five screens for up to nine hours a day. You have to be everywhere they are, which means having a website and/or app that can be easily used on a desktop or laptop, smartphone, tablet and even smart TV.
The content you’re providing everywhere also has to be both engaging and simple. If something takes more than one or two steps, like opting in to your newsletter, there’s less of a chance that you’ll convert a Gen Z consumer. All of those screens make for very short attention spans. The fact that Gen Z wants simple, even minimalist content is good news for small marketing budgets. You can take classes and use desktop software such as Photoshop and Illustrator to create effective content for your marketing efforts. Depending on your budget, there are multiple options for content creation.
Being present on every screen also means having profiles on every social media account. Your content should include several sharing options so that the consumer can post or send it via Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. Again, make it super easy. It’s not that Generation Z doesn’t understand how to walk through several steps, it’s just that they don’t want to – and since there are plenty of companies that cater to that, they don’t need to.
Be Authentic and Woke
Generation Z is in tune with what’s happening right now. They have their pulse on culture and they don’t tolerate anybody or any company that isn’t equally informed. They have opinions and stances that they’re not afraid to share. There’s no patience for anything that isn’t authentic, genuine and real. They demand diversity and inclusion. They look for brands that are highly socially conscious and self-aware.
Brands are actively improving their online reputations and showing that they’re part of the in-
Be a Cult Brand
If you don’t know what a cult brand is, just think of Apple. They’ve designed products that look and function in a similar way – a way that’s unique in the overall market but similar internally. Nothing else looks quite like a Mac or iPhone, but the operating systems used on Apple products work similarly and cohesively. Once you buy an Apple product, you’re in for life. If you try to switch to another computer, your smartphone won’t sync and you’ll have to learn a brand new OS.
Smart brands are finding ways to increase brand loyalty – and Generation Z loves the effort. The more customized, personalized, and targeted a product or service, or even the marketing behind it, the better able the company is to deliver exactly what the customer wants. Once a Gen Z customer gets what they want, they’ll stick with a brand as long as it continues to deliver on its promise. If you’re very lucky, some of those adopters will also be influencers – paying for them to advertise your product on their Instagram can bring in tons of new traffic, sales, and repeat customers.
People who were around before the internet was even a thing have been there from the beginning, which gives them an interesting view of today’s technology. People who are in their 30s and 40s learned how to use the internet from the very start, which makes them adept users. There’s nothing like growing up surrounded by the online world from the moment you’re born, though, which is why Gen Z needs to be specifically catered to – and why they could end up being enormously powerful as they enter the workforce.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her with any questions or suggestions.