What The Heck Is Gen Z?

You’ve probably heard of them by now, you might even have one at home. The middle part, baggy jeans, bucket hat, Tik-Tok loving Gen Z’s who are coming of age. This new generational group doesn’t adhere to many of the standards set forth by previous generations, and as such pose a unique and exciting challenge when it comes to understanding and marketing to them. 

Gen Z is typically represented by individuals born after 1997, and are one of the most ethnically diverse generations. This generation wields a huge amount of influence and monetary power with a study by Campaign Monitor citing that they account for 40 percent of all consumers, and have spending power of $44 billion expanded to $600 billion when the influence on their parents spending is accounted for. 

With this level of influence, it is no wonder that marketers are lining up to figure out how to influence Gen Z. Unfortunately for marketers, Gen Z has grown up with the internet and is able to determine when brands are inauthentic, which will quickly turn them away. They are much more likely to turn to their peers as opposed to the “experts” when it comes to making a big decision. 

One of the biggest things that brands can do to keep Gen Z consumers is to be authentic in their interactions with them. Staying true to your brand is extremely important, as is being socially active. If there is a disconnect between your brand persona and actions, Gen Z is likely to find it. You’ll most likely find yourself called out on Tik Tok, like personal-care brand St. Ives who recently found themselves in hot water with the skin care community. Now more than ever it is important to create a holistic and well-rounded approach to marketing. 

It is not enough to push a sales offer to them. Brands have to show that they actually care about each consumer, and the world around them.  This generation is truly defined by their search for truth and authenticity.  In their search for authenticity, Gen Z expects brands to take a stand. These young consumers do not differentiate between the brand, the owner, and the suppliers that work with the brand. They take a big picture approach and see how all the parts interact together. Because of this, it is important for brands to create a cohesive and authentic brand across all channels.

For many brands, Gen Z offers an exciting opportunity to not only rebrand but to redefine their values. Gen Z has the world at their fingertips, and as such are much more analytical about the very act of consumption. They have redefined what a product is, turning services into products through the shared economy (think of Uber, Air BnB). This re-defining of what can be a product allows businesses to market whole new categories that they may never have thought of. Everything can be turned into a product now! This generation has also given a greater importance to personalization of items, and services. To them, consumption is a means of self expression and they are willing to pay more for goods and services that are tailored to them. 

Gen Z poses a unique and exciting opportunity for brands. Do you need help navigating this new and exciting paradigm? Then give us a call at Miller Ad Agency where we can help you navigate the ever changing consumer landscape.