Generational Takeover: Closer Than You Think10 July 2018
Move aside millennials; there is a new buying power in town.
Welcome Generation Z. To successfully understand why this new generation is becoming ever more influential, we first have to know what makes them tick.
Generation Z, are made up of anyone born after 1995, currently making up 25.9% of the U.S. population. Born “social,” living in a world of influences and a need for self-expression they seek uniqueness and individuality. Using social media to showcase their ideas and thoughts they are drawn towards brands that are a reflection of them.
Doesn’t this sound familiarly like a millennial though? This is somewhat true; however, millennials born roughly between 1977-1995, is the last generation not to grow up with modern day smart technology. They make up 21% of consumer discretionary purchases, have similar purchasing patterns and are considered the same compared to other generations, due to the spread of cultural trends at such a vast speed. Do advertisers and marketers now have to change their methods to combat this new generational wave? And why all the fuss?
The Makings of Generation Z
Dial-up internet, phones attached to cars, and the same primary seven television channels. These are the things many older millennials remember growing up with. The younger Generation Z members, however, would be hard-pressed to remember a time without Wi-Fi, Netflix, iPhones, and social media. Growing up with this abundance of technology, Gen Z is more comfortable multi-tasking with multiple forms of technology than their millennial counterparts. Texting on their smartphones, completing work on laptops while streaming TV shows in the background all at the same time, companies now have to reach this new audience and engage with these young consumers in a non-linear fashion. Using new techniques to hold their attention; digital marketing has never been more sophisticated.
Sixty percent of Generation Z shoppers admitted they will abandon an app or website if the site does not load in four-seconds, which means there’s little time to make a good impression. Speed is not the only problem though. Gen Z researches 12 to 27 percent more than previous generations online before making a purchase.
92 percent of Generation Z have a digital footprint. Gen Z relishes in individuality and self-expression, seeking products that allow for aesthetic and personal customization. MINI is a perfect example enabling a variety of customizable colors and styles to be used on their cars, including a union jack flag, driving lamps, exhaust tips, vehicle colors, and roof graphics. While Gen Z might not be interested in mechanical customizations, they’re certainly keener to purchase cars that allow for aesthetic customizations.
Generation Z consumers seek to purchase products or goods that have a social or environmental impact. While social media and technology is the way to reach them, bringing attention to social good is the way to keep them. Your brand values become a reflection of them. So being able to create content that is authentic, establishes trust, and emotion is the best way to evoke a response. Because Generation Z are experts at seeing through fake campaigns, they want brand authenticity, so staying true to your core values is mission critical.
When you dive deep into the available research and stream of news articles making claims about who Gen Z is and isn’t, it can be hard to read between the lines. Nevertheless starting to lay the foundation of communication to this group is important. Knowing your audience and developing tailored advertising and marketing tools towards them can be the difference between success and failure.