Wondering how to shift your focus towards Generation Z? In the media, everything is about the Millennials. Born between 1981 and 1996, this generation is the current consumer powerhouse, accounting for the majority of purchases made and influencing the decisions of everyone from Wall Street to Hollywood. But as is the case with every generation, as Millennials age, they will cede their consumer power to the generation that follows, which in this case is Generation Z.
Generation Z is the generation born between 1997 and 2015. While members of this generation are currently aged 21 and younger, by the year 2020, they are expected to make up 40 percent of all consumers. This means that brands looking to remain relevant need to shift their focus towards Generation Z.
The question is, how can this be done? Here are a few ideas.
Compared to Millennials, Generation Z is heavy into social activism, and this is something they will want to see reflected in the brands they purchase from. Now, this might seem risky, but it doesn’t need to be. There are plenty of causes that stir up emotions without causing political conflict. Look for those that align with your brand and are unlikely to alienate your target audience.
Generation Z is all over social media, and they use each platform for specific reasons. Instagram is about the person they want to be; Snapchat is about their unfiltered selves (even when heavily filtered). Twitter is about news, politics, and being perhaps a little too honest. And Facebook? Well, Generation Z is not as big on Facebook and uses it more to stay in touch with friends and family they know in real life.
Generation Z consumes social media in snippets, or micro-interactions. They like to get the gist of the information within seconds and are not up for watching a long video, sticking with a live stream that has significant downtime, or reading big articles. If you do not adapt to their interest in micro-interactions, chances are your brand’s content will be skipped over.
Forget airbrushed models. Instead, embrace influencers and even customers modeling for your marketing campaigns. Generation Z is about getting down to earth, seeing real people and real bodies—imperfections and all.
As new technology develops, you want to get on board early. Generation Z is the first generation that is truly digital native. While younger Millennials might qualify, the majority do not. This means that Generation Z will be faster to adopt new technologies and will be setting the tone for how they are used. You will want to reach them where they are, so that means being an early adopter yourself.
Because the members of Generation Z are still quite young, there is a lot of room for things here to change. However, based on research, all of these suggestions are considered solid for at least the first wave of Generation Z.
Have you adapted your brand strategy to target Generation Z? What are some ways you did this?