WOULD YOU DARE TO IGNORE GEN Z?
There is a Zoomer invasion on the Internet! Beware!
Gen Z represents 32% of the world’s population, surpassing both millennials and baby boomers meaning that as digital natives they are taking over the internet!
This year (2022), 4.0 million Gen Zeds will become social network users, up by 8.4% over 2021, and we can see how these numbers are rapidly increasing every day.
So while their parents are slowly logging off, Gen Z are logging in.
Now if you think that you don’t have to worry about entertaining Gen Z because your brand is targeting let’s say 25+, I would like to make a bit of a controversial point, but before we get there let’s take a deeper look into this generation’s core characteristics and values.
WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER GOING AFTER GEN Z ANYWAY
The Gen Z generation spends a generous amount of time on social media and their voices are loud, proud, unfiltered, and totally genuine but what’s more important RELEVANT.
According to Statista on average GEN Z spends 13% more time daily on socials than the Millennials per se.
WHAT ARE THE CORE CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS GENERATION?
Unlike the millennials who are digital pioneers and classify as digital savvy, the Gen Z are actually the real digital natives.
First-generation kids were born into a technologically advanced world, where information was instantaneously accessible and social media more and more prevalent.
Being born and raised by having an unlimited wealth of information at disposal at any given time, being connected and entertained at all times is definitely something that the previous generations can’t relate to.
This means that they’ve adapted different values, and needs as well as imposed new standards that are changing and shaping the future.
With that being said we can only understand them by understanding the core characteristics of this generation:
- Digital Natives
They are born and brought up during the age of digital technology ready to use and navigate the internet from an early age.
- Pragmatic and financially minded
Gen Z is proclaimed to be the most materialistic living generation.
Given the opportunities that the IT & SM expansion has provided, they are entering the workforce pretty early on, aiming to achieve “financial peace of mind” by their 30s.
One of the traits of this generation is advanced financial literacy and general pragmatism, leading them to make informed purchasing decisions.
- Shrewd consumers
Gen Z consumers care about the brands and everything behind them, not just the products they are initially interested in.
And when they don’t, they know how to access information, so they are kind of hard to impress, making the brands put genuine effort into their work.
- Politically progressive
Gen Z holds socially and politically progressive attitudes and it's on us to understand that this translates in their consumer needs and behavior.
- Highly collaborative
The thing about this generation is that while they highly value individualism and may appear as self-centered, they also truly understand the importance and the power of the collective.
This is one of the reasons why they are prone to building communities.
They are extremely self reliant.
Given the circumstances and the opportunities in which they are brought up, they probably have a steady base on which they can build their existential self confidence and resilience.
But, how can teenagers dictate and change the course of the digital business space?
Well, you will be shocked right about now if you didn’t know that Generation Z makes up 40% of global consumers.
Yup! We often forget that some of these kids grew up and now are mostly adults in their early 20s, with solid purchasing power, that is.
HOW GEN Z IS CHANGING THE DIGITAL LANDSCAPE?
It’s interesting to analyze how, unlike the millennials, Gen Z does not try to fit into this already established digital “ruling”, but adapts the entire digital discourse according to their ideals, beliefs, and needs.
So what does this mean?
It’s simple, it just means that the rules are changing, and given that they chart the path we will follow in the future.
We have no choice but to adapt and understand the new ways.
They are part of a movement that disrupts businesses in terms of customer behavior, customer expectations, and experience.
Meaning that they are very particular in the way they can be attracted and entertained in this digital space.
WOKE, REAL, ENTERTAINING
Gen Z is really hard to impress given their core characteristics.
If you want to attract or become relevant in the eye of a Gen Zeter you might want to:
Develop your brand's personality
If this was a bonus and upscale for a brand until now, for Gen Z it’s a bare minimum.
They want to hear bold brands, have a strong and clear voice, and are also providing additional value.
But generally, they have zero bullshit policy, so you might want to be real and honest in your tone of voice.
If you are proclaiming that you are a 100% eco-conscious company just by selling your product in a paper bag, they would want to know how this product was being made and if the whole process is by all eco standards.
Think Transparency and authenticity.
Work on your CSR strategy!
Gen Z is also widely known as the most socially conscious generation, notorious for pressuring brands to set intentional standards for consciousness and social impact.
If you speak to Gen Z, just claiming that you stand for something and donate a few dollars to that cause it’s not going to cut it.
You must be dedicated to the cause and contribute towards real change.
While Millennials are good at just hearing about it, you’ll have to prove it to the Gen Z’s.
No matter how good you are at reaching Gen Z through digital channels, you must give them something worth their attention.
Content is everything!
Check Allstate Insurance for reference.
They are in a serious and conservative industry targeting an older demographic, obviously…but their commercials and general video advertising are really entertaining while communicating very sterile points. It’s insurance after all…
And with this simple twist, they manage to speak to everyone but to convey the message to those intended.
THE KEY POINT
By now, we know that Generation Z takes initiative, values authenticity and honesty, and can be well connected.
All of these characteristics and their online behavior point to one thing, that they have immense power when it comes to making digital content go VIRAL, and that is what we all want.
With all the points listed above you already have a rough idea of what it takes to gain the attention of Gen Z and their usage patterns.
As a result, I believe that the GEN Z is a generally relevant target audience in every case since they can help you reach your perfect customers, even if they aren't "the one"
So you should think again about leaving them out of your next campaign.