Generation Z now comprises more than 40% of the world’s population, and is far too big to ignore. Consisting of those between 18 and 24 years old, Gen Z is a causing major shifts in the consumer market with their perspectives and rising influence. While the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has thrown everyone a few curveballs this year, there is no generation who has adapted to the new normal more readily than Gen Z.
Despite the disruption of educational journeys, career opportunities and other formative experiences, this emerging generation is using the current circumstances to reframe themselves and empower others. This transformative attitude is carried with them in their lives and seen in the way they interact with businesses as consumers.
As we’ve said before, Gen Z is the next generation of marketing, meaning that understanding and connecting with this demographic group is more important than ever. Facebook IQ recently conducted candid interviews with Gen Z members across the globe to get insight into this generation. To help businesses better understand Gen Z and how to market to them, here are a few key generational characteristics to keep in mind.
Authenticity in Commerce
Gen Z values authenticity not only in themselves and others, but they also seek it in the brands and businesses they support. Gen Z members often view shopping as more of an expression of their values and less about actual cost. In fact, Gen Z members are 1.4 times more likely to pay more for sustainable products or to support brands they can proudly associate with. Along with their love of authenticity, this generation is also used to convenience and expects businesses to find them and meet them where they are.
Gen Z members can easily see through flashy sales tactics and manipulative messages used to appeal to older generations. To best reach Gen Z, businesses need to be authentic while vocalizing company values. In addition to this need for authenticity, the Facebook IQ report also finds that 67% of Gen Z members were overwhelmed by the wide array of options available. To combat this convenience issue, business can focus on making these personalization options simpler with easier discovery. This along with portraying authentic values is sure to draw in Gen Z members and build their trust as consumers.
Diversity and Activism
Gen Z is the richest and most diverse generation. They are united by shared values and a common belief that they have the power to change the world for the better. We’ve seen this firsthand in recent months as Gen Z members rushed to the forefront of social injustice, sustainability, mental health and other important causes. The pandemic has only heightened this generation’s passion for diversity activism and made this characteristic even more apparent. Because Gen Z views their diversity as an asset, it is important to them that the media around them reflects those ideals as well.
The Facebook IQ study finds that 71% of Gen Z members surveyed would like to see more diversity in business advertising and marketing campaigns. Today’s businesses need to research and understand what is important to Gen Z and find ways to show that they care too. Creating social media campaigns, hosting charity fundraisers and showing genuine concern for the issues taking place in in community are simple ways businesses can show their concern, care and support of the things that Gen Z values most.
Sense of Community is Key
As much as Gen Z owns their individuality, they also strongly believe that everyone is better when we come together as a community. The drive to connect with others accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic with Gen Z leading the way when it comes to maintaining communication via social media, video calls and other virtual platforms.
Luckily, these digital natives’ active use of these technologies makes it easy for business to market to and create communities they can be a part of. Hashtags are a great way to create community with just a simple word or phrase, while direct messaging can let Gen Z members know that they are heard and seen by a brand. Another way businesses can create community is to share user’s stories to their business’s social platforms, as well as create opportunities to collaborate with user generated content. Whether it is reposting an Instagram story, sharing a photo or using a testimonial, this method shows appreciation for the consumers support and forms a community around that.
The emergence of Generation Z brings new opportunities to market in a variety of unique and innovative ways! Does your business need some help shifting your marketing strategy to this new generation of consumers? Let the Denim Marketing team know! Call at 770-383-3360 or contact us today to learn how our team can help you connect to this new consumer group with ease.