Millennials, with their continuous search for originality and realness, they have become a huge buying force. By 2020 they will represent 40% of all customers globally, and they could have an estimated 600 billion dollars buying power. Gen Z might not have entered the workforce yet, but its impact on the way their parents are spending is significant.
As a brand manager, a marketing director, or even a CEO, it is fundamental to understand how to relate to Gen Z. Understanding this generation is as difficult as it is easy too. The youngest members of Gen Z are just 7 years old, while the oldest ones are 24 years old. Just for the comparison’s sake, the youngest Millennials are 25 years old, and the oldest ones are 39 years old. This means that Generation Z is not just digital natives, they are social media natives. Just try asking them if they remember life without the Internet. Their answer will probably as you expect – an enormous clue for the companies that if they want to make Generation Z engage with their brands, online is the key.
Generation Z spends a lot of time on social media, almost 3 hours a day, studies show. The same studies prove that members of this group have an attention span of 8 seconds. You better be starting thinking about that first impression your brand is making. Any luck with your last campaign? Was it catchy enough to draw their attention? Gen Z can make life difficult for professionals in communication.
How should we translate Gen Z’s 8 seconds attention span?
- imagine that from the youngest age you interact with countless commercials and promotional messages – believe us, your attention span would also diminish to avoid things that do not interest you.
- the speed they filter the surrounding information represents an adaptation for not wasting their time with information they don’t find relevant.
- ensure your campaign makes it up to the trending page – this is an exceptional filter that helps them find the content they consider worth consuming. We believe that you have already understood that Generation Z loves the virtual world.
Is Generation’s Z hyper-connectivity an advantage or an arduous challenge for brands?
- videos, GIFs, images – everything that comes to your mind – interests Gen Z. They are always looking for quality content, and they are sensible at losing their time.
- Generation Z is the biggest website critic. Your biggest allies? Attractive design and fast loading time.
- they prefer talking to virtual assistants than typing.
- because they are connected all the time, they expect the same from the brands. But pay attention to data protection as is a very important matter for them.
What does their need for authenticity mean?
- Generation Z invests a lot in personal branding – being social media-natives makes them very interested in their image and in the way others perceive them. The same value scale they apply to companies and brands.
- social media serves as space where they can promote their best versions.
- originality and authenticity are fundamental for them, while phony, or boring brands have no chance of attracting their attention.
- mainstream? No, thank you. Generation Z loves niche platforms that emphasize its individuality and uniqueness.
What can a brand do to engage Gen Z?
- Make your brand fight for a greater cause – Generation Z is much aware of the political, social, economic, or environmental context. Big chances are that if your brand doesn’t seem socially responsible or eco-friendly, Gen Z will ignore it. Take this example from a shoe company that promised to donate a pair of shoes to people in need for every pair of shoes they sell. That’s how you attract Generation’s Z attention.
- Emphasize meaningful relations – Generation Z is less loyal than Millennials, so retaining them as customers means extra effort. What we know is that young people love interacting with brands, so asking them for ideas, hosting events for them to attend, allowing them to design products, or having a great customer service department will make them feel involved.
- Make sure you optimize your brand’s social media activity – Generation Z loves social media, as you already know by now. To make them see and engage with your brand, it must be visible online.
- Make the smartphone your brand’s best friend – because it already is Gen Z’s best friend. Perfectly configured for mobile apps and good user experience make the best tools. They favour short sentences to paragraphs and prefer subheads or bullet points to big blocks of information. Less is more, right?
- Create content, then create more content – because the content is what keeps young people connected with the brand. The latest surveys show that Youtube still rules all other platforms when it comes to offering Gen Z the environment for entertainment and learning. What does that mean? It means that video content is the brand’s most important channel in communicating.
- Understand that experiences are more important than products – Generation Z is born in a period abundant in products. What differentiates brands? Of course, it’s the experiences they instill. With Generation Z, it is all about the feeling you sell, and that comes with the product.