As marketers, we’re constantly adapting to stay ahead of consumer trends and analyzing audiences with purchase power and influence. Today, this means ensuring your brand is prepared to connect with the newest generation in the marketplace.
This is your friendly reminder that Generation Z has officially arrived, and it’s time to reevaluate your strategy to make sure you’re capturing their attention. This group, classified as those born between 1995 and the 2010, requires a different approach than the millennials before them. Having grown up with the Internet, smartphones and social media, Pew Research Center findings show that about 45 percent of teens are online “almost constantly,” and their lives online and offline are intertwined. They also have a strong, passionate focus on doing business with brands that have clear values, are inclusive, and have a strong online community.
Already, Gen Z comprises 40% of total U.S. consumers, and has buying power of more than $143 billion. Access to and influence on their parents’ disposable income and spending decisions also falls to this generation, further supporting the need to stay relevant among Gen Z. Having grown up during a recession and are currently witnessing the challenges of the pandemic, they tend to be more practical, pragmatic and frugal in their spending.
Let’s take a deeper dive into their behaviors and values to consider for your brand’s marketing strategy:
Seeking Brands with Purpose
Generation Z cares about the world – from environmental challenges to politics to socio-economic problems in society today. They’re actively seeking brands with a positive purpose that improves the world in some way. In fact, 55% of Gen Z choose brands based on the fact that they are eco-friendly and socially responsible. They’re not only looking for brands that clearly communicate purpose and values, but that actively live them out and participate in social justice conversations around them.
According to a study recently conducted by Response Media, “On Instagram, Gen Z showcases their aspirational selves; on Snapchat, they share real-life moments; on Twitter, they get the news; and on Facebook, they glean information.” This generation is actively utilizing a number of available platforms and are turning to each to meet a specific need. As Gen Z has a publicly facing persona, they are also expecting brands they follow to have a strong digital voice and personality on these same channels, and to effectively communicate in each platform’s space. They’re looking for bold and entertaining marketing messages to capture their attention, but be sure to keep the messages short and to the point, as studies show that this group has an average attention span of eight seconds.
When considering the highly practical mindset of Gen Z, an apparently shorter attention span means they are not willing to waste time and energy on content that doesn’t appeal to them. With so much information constantly available and the endless scrolling, this short attention span is attributed to their ability to sort and evaluate high volumes of info available at their fingertips.
Even though they have the ability to be connected 24/7, according to surveys, Gen Z is the loneliest generation in the U.S. This leads them to use their digital world to search for ways to engage and connect with like-minded individuals. Brands that build a strong community can help facility connection and conversation by utilizing influencers, creating loyalty programs or have a strategy for two-way communication between your brand and consumers.
The consumer behavior from Gen Z is one to watch. For example, unlike previous generations, YouTube is Gen Z’s platform of choice for shopping recommendations, followed by Instagram. And 34% of U.S. teens think Facebook is for “old people” and prefer Snapchat and Instagram to connect – critical information to drive future marketing strategies. As this group’s earning power increases, so will their buying power. Are you prepared to incorporate Gen Z into your media strategy? Contact Morgan & Co. today to learn how.