How to properly market your products to Gen Z

How to properly market your products to Gen Z

It’s 2022, the marketing landscape is shifting as new generations continue to enter the workforce and continue buying products.

When it comes to the business world, Gen Zers are considered a new breed of consumers with unique needs and expectations. They are a force to be reckoned with and can make or break companies that don’t adapt to their needs.

The youth of today might be known for their tech-savviness and their love of internet memes, but there’s no denying the new generation — Gen Z or Generation Z — is changing marketing forever.

Therefore, if you’re in the business of selling products or services, it’s important to study Gen Z’s mindset. But what exactly is Gen Z? And how can you market to Gen Z effectively? Let’s jump right into it!

Who is Gen Z?

The generation that follows the Millennials is Gen Z. This group of consumers was born between 1997 and 2012. They are just beginning to enter the workforce, but already their spending power is estimated at £300 billion.

Gen Z is a unique group of consumers who have grown up in an era of technology, social media, and instant gratification. They are digital natives who have never known a world without smartphones or the internet.

Here are some statistics that marketers should know about Gen Z:

  • 85% of Gen Z prefer to learn about new products through social media, while 54% admit it’s the most powerful marketing channel.
  • According to a recent online survey by McKinsey & Company, 52% of Generation Z trusts social media influencers when it comes to product and brand advice.
  • Over half of Generation Z has purchased a product via mobile in the last month, 61% to be exact.
  • 66% of Gen Z say product quality is their top purchasing priority.
  • Gen Z has a shorter attention span than Millennials, averaging eight seconds compared to twelve seconds.

Gen Z is a unique group of consumers who have grown up in an era of technology, social media, and instant gratification. They are digital natives who have never known a world without smartphones or the internet. They can be more sceptical of brands, so it’s essential companies are able to create loyalty with them.

How can companies connect with Gen Z consumers?

The answer lies in understanding what makes this generation different.

Gen Zers are a diverse group with varying interests and values, but they all share one thing: They’re looking for brands that stand out from the crowd and offer something more than just a good deal.

In 2018, McKinsey & Company released the results of a study titled ‘True Gen’: Generation Z and its implications for companies, where it was revealed that this generation has three defining features:

1. Gen Z values individual expression

To connect with Generation Z, companies need to understand the value of individual expression. They want to be heard, understood, and recognized for their own ideas and opinions.

In other words, Generation Z is looking for brands that empower them to express themselves.

They want to feel like they belong in the brand community and have a voice in what goes on with the brand. And they want to feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves — which means that your marketing strategy should go beyond just offering discounts or freebies. Offer customised experiences and listen to your social media comments, especially on Instagram and TikTok, which are the platforms that are currently the most influential in the buyer’s decision-making process.

2. Gen Z cares about social causes

For companies looking to connect with Generation Z, one of the first steps should be understanding what drives them.

Gen Z cares about what companies stand for and how they align with the values of the generation. If a company doesn’t demonstrate an authentic connection to social causes or strong core values, it’s unlikely that Gen Z will want to buy its products or services.

Identifying the social causes Gen Z is concerned about the most and addressing them will help you build trust with your target audience and show them that you’re not just another company trying to sell them something — you’re someone who cares about making a positive difference in our world, just like them.

3. Gen Z is analytical

While Gen Z may be less interested in traditional advertising channels than older generations, they still value data-backed content over all else.

That said, don’t bombard them with irrelevant data — use it to support any claims you make or provide insight into what makes your brand unique.

They don’t trust companies or brands (or people) but instead, look for credible information about who or what may be good for them. To earn their business, companies must deliver value, not just talk about it.

Five Marketing strategies for Gen Z

As we move into the future, companies have more opportunities than ever, but this can be daunting. To succeed, businesses must rethink how they provide value to consumers and how they can balance mass production with customisation, and most importantly, not forget about ethics and social issues.

Having said that, here are the five most effective marketing strategies that appeal to Gen Z:

1. Show your sense of humour

Gen Z are a funny bunch. They love to laugh, so if you can make them chuckle, you’re well on the way to winning their heart. One of the ways you can do this is by using humour in your marketing materials.

One example of this is Ryan Air‘s iconic TikTok account (@ryanair), which has racked up 1.7 million followers on the platform. Undoubtedly, this is due to the fact that they have an excellent understanding of how to use humour to engage an audience.

While this doesn’t guarantee people around the world will place their first choice on the airline, their humorous marketing tactics have definitely helped conceal their questionable reputation. Now, they have something else to be known for!

2. Be transparent about your mistakes

If you make a mistake and admit it publicly, Gen Z will respect that honesty. Turn it into a positive as it will help build trust between them and your company.

Some companies may try to cover up their mistakes, but this isn’t always possible anymore due to social media. Instead, we recommend being transparent about any issues that arise as soon as possible and addressing them head-on.

A great example is Kentucky Fried Chicken’s apology for running out of chicken, which was published as a newspaper ad. It went viral all over social media due to its creativity and tongue-in-cheek humour.

The KFC apology. Image source

3. Create a brand experience

Another marketing strategy to engage with Gen Z is through creating memorable experiences around your products or services.

They don’t just want to buy a product; they want an experience that connects them with other people who like the same thing as them.

This might include hosting events or competitions, setting up community groups or even just creating an interactive website. You don’t need to go overboard with this — just something simple and enjoyable will do the trick!

Häagen-Dazs did this to promote its new Strawberries & Cream flavoured ice cream, partnering with Wonderland to create an interactive GIF photo booth at Wimbledon.

4. Emphasise the quality over quantity of your product

Gen Z is all about quality over quantity; they want something that is going to last. For example, if you’re selling a new phone case, show them how long it will last and how much use it can handle before it needs replacing.

Additionally, you can create short-form video content about the process of creating & packaging your products, from design all the way to shipping.

If you try this strategy, it’s good to go into as much detail as possible. Gen Z wants to know everything, including ingredients, how you determine your pricing, and how long your product takes to create. This way, they can make their decision as to if they want to purchase from your company.

Lastly, if your brand is characterised as being sustainable, use this to your advantage because ​​61% of Gen-Z would pay more for products that are produced ethically.

5. Embrace diversity

Gen Z has grown up in a world where people of different races, genders, sexualities and religions live alongside each other peacefully and without prejudice – this makes them incredibly open-minded when it comes to embracing diversity.

By having an inclusive message and embracing diversity in your marketing campaigns, you can show Gen Z that your brand aligns with its values.

Let’s take Crocs’ “Come as You Are” campaign as an example. It was based on a simple idea — that Croc wearers can be themselves, no matter who they are or where they come from.

The campaign was very well received by Gen Z consumers, who took notice of the brand’s effort to be inclusive and diverse.

The campaign also tapped into Gen Z’s desire for authenticity and individuality by encouraging people to share photos of their Crocs with their friends and family.

Final thoughts

Gen Z is a new markert in the fast-approaching future, and their presence will bring a lot of changes to businesses, industries and our culture as a whole.

The marketers that get in there now and learn how to properly market to them will be able to learn how they think, what they value and how to turn their prospective customers into loyal, lifetime customers.

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