When it comes to marketing, one thing is certain: Generation Z is different. Market to them on their terms or risk missing out.
Who’s Generation Z and what makes them so special, you ask? Well, Gen Z is most often defined as those born between 1997 and 2012. Ranging in age from 10 to 25, they’re a rapidly growing force in the workplace, and according to one recent report control $360 billion in disposable income. They’re the fastest growing segment of the workforce today.
To successfully sell to Gen Z, it’s important to realize first of all, that they’re digital natives. They’ve grown up with computers, tablets, cell phones and gaming devices. They’re fully comfortable with the technology that might have intimidated previous generations.
As a result, legacy media such as television, radio and print are no longer the information sources of choice. You need to reach Gen Z where they live – on digital media. TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and other apps are the key to get your message out.
Remember, those apps are interactive. It’s not enough just to put your information out there. Give viewers a chance to respond and react.
Be Real, Be Brief, Move Fast
Authenticity, or “being real” is a must. Don’t try to adapt tired cliches and stereotypes to modern techniques. Develop a personality for your brand, something that shows you respect your customers, but don’t take yourself too seriously.
Don’t waste their time, or yours. Think small “snacks” of information, not a full meal. Some reports say you have only eight seconds to make your point. That’s where TikTok and other short-form videos can make a difference.
Agility is a must. Viral trends come and go in hours or days, not weeks or months. You have to be prepared to respond and interact in real time. Miss the moment and you come across as both clueless and trying too hard.
Give them something to believe in. Gen Zers are socially aware, and they want to support brands that support causes they believe in. Take a stand on social issues of the day and you’ll win loyal customers.
Some Things Generation Z Appreciates
With a digital generation, power is always welcome. Power banks for charging phones and tablets make a great impression. Imprint them with your logo and you put the power of branding in their hands every day.
Bluetooth headphones and mics are welcome as well. The ability to stay connected is a Gen Z trademark. Custom accessories such as phone cases, phone grips and power cables are popular too.
Cause marketing is a major incentive for Gen Z. If your brand is willing to commit to a social cause, and reflect that through promotional products that give back to that cause, it’s a great start. Your brand will represent the authenticity that Gen Zers so crave.
Marketing to Generation Z isn’t magic. It’s just a matter of understanding what’s important to them, just as with any other demographic. Stay aware, stay agile and don’t be afraid to change with the times, and you’ll do very well with Gen Z.
Content Director, Blogger
Rick Cundiff spent 15 years as a newspaper journalist before joining TJM Promos. He has been researching and writing about promotional products for more than 10 years. He believes in the Oxford comma, eradicating the word "utilize," and Santa Claus.