Born between 1996 and 2010, Gen Z are a socially conscious generation who place a huge amount of value in authenticity, transparency, and self-expression. Colloquially known as Zoomers, they’re responsible for many of the current social media trends, viral jokes and have redefined the landscape of social media as we once knew it.
Digitally minded, tech-savvy and culturally sensitive, they’re the first generation to grow up in an era with smartphones, the internet and social media at their fingertips. These factors have shaped their buying habits, making them more likely to purchase from brands with engaged online communities, who share their values on social issues and sustainability.
Now teens or young adults, large numbers of Zoomers are getting their heads around disposable incomes. So, if you are a brand that hasn’t been considering marketing strategies for Gen Z, now is the time to start.
We’ve rounded up some tried and tested tips to help you tap into your Gen Z audience base:
Values are key
Zoomers care about what the company stand for, as much as they do about the quality, value, style or function or the product or service they’re buying.
In fact, a sustainability efforts and a solid stance social justice issues are two of the top purchase considerations for Gen Z.
In 2016, Nike released an ad featuring Colin Kaepernick, an NFL football player who was dropped from his team for taking the knee in protest against racism, acting as a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement we know around the world today. The advert’s slogan was ‘Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.’
Although Nike’s stance on the social issue faced backlash from some consumers, others rose to support the brand on social media and actively bought their products, with Gen Z showing particular interest in the ad due to its alignment with their social and political values.
Gen Z can sense performative marketing moves from a mile off. The bad news is that society is rife with it, and some brands have had to learn the hard way that greenwashing just won’t stand with today’s switched on consumer base.
Gen Z in particular want to see evidence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) in action. It’s no longer enough for companies to claim that they’re sustainable, without demonstrating their efforts.
From simple measures like adopting eco-friendly packaging or practices, to taking part in social responsibility initiatives and community projects without looking for clout. Or on the larger scale, re-evaluating their sourcing and supply Chain to ensuring transparency in sustainability reporting – there are lots of ways brands can think about showing the proof in the pudding when it comes to their credentials.
Be entertaining and engaging
Gen Z no doubt has a sense of humour. If your brand can make a joke, utilise a trend in a light-hearted way or infuse its marketing efforts with raw authenticity, it’s likely to be a hit with Zoomers.
Ryanair often goes viral for its whacky TikTok’s which draw on current events, the latest social media trends, and relatable experiential travel scenarios. Their social media team often take to the comments, poking fun at themselves and competitors to entertain their audience – a solid strategy for getting your brand visible in front of Zoomer audiences.
However, it’s important to remember that a comedic approach doesn’t work for every brand, every time. You need to find a style that’s authentic to your brand personality.
Also, different social media communities have their unique styles of humour, meaning that what one group finds amusing might not necessarily resonate with another. Be consumer-centric when drafting content, so that you strike that perfect tone.
When it comes to capturing Gen Z’s attention, more than comedy, interactivity and creativity become key.
Actively engage with your audience on social media, conduct surveys, and provide channels for them to voice their opinions. It’s also good practise to personalise your replies, as this humanises the brand and shows consumers that their input matters.
Work with content creators and influencers
Influencer marketing is a brilliant channel for brands looking to connect with Gen Z.
Not only does it help to drive brand awareness through user generated content that audiences trust, but it taps into Gen Z’s core values of authenticity, self-expression, and relatability.
However, to harness influencer marketing successfully, brands must remember to be transparent, non-promotional and to use influencers that have synergy with their own values.
Overall, reaching Gen Z requires a deep understanding of their preferences and values. By embracing authenticity, leveraging social media, and engaging in personalised marketing, you can effectively connect with this influential demographic.
Keep experimenting, listening, and adapting your strategies to stay relevant in the ever-changing landscape of marketing to Gen Z.
Looking for some help with marketing to Zoomers? Get in touch at: [email protected]