Gen Z, the demographic cohort after the Millennials is fast becoming the most discussed and debated new target group in marketing as they start to enter the workforce and earn their own incomes. While many studies have been done to attempt to identify key traits and characteristics of this group, the best insights sometimes come from first-hand knowledge. The Ad Age article, 5 Myths About Marketing to Gen Z – From a Member of Gen Z, outlines the following interesting insights:
1. Being Real Really Pays
In a time when Photoshopped images of “perfect” bodies flood Instagram, my generation yearns for brands that are truly authentic. What we really want to see is reality—something that often seems to be in short supply online today.
2. Share Our Values
We’re very attuned to societal injustices such as racism, and we support brands that share the same values as us. If done right, standing up for social justice will resonate with Gen Z. For example, Nike took a chance with its controversial ad campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. Some didn’t like it, but Gen Z definitely did, and Nike’s increased sales showed they nailed it among their customers.
3. Brand Loyalty is Possible
My generation can still be loyal to a brand if that brand can earn our trust. No company has cracked the Gen Z brand-loyalty code more successfully than Apple—a survey found that as of spring of this year, a new high of 83 percent of U.S. teens own an iPhone, and 86 percent plan on their next smartphone being an iPhone.
4. Subtlety in Branding is Key
Gen Z places a premium on individuality, and while we still appreciate expensive clothes, we don’t want our clothes’ branding overshadowing our personal brands. Gen Zers want our Instagrams to be a reflection of our uniqueness—not just free advertising for a luxury brand.
5. Focus on In-store Experience
42 percent of Gen Z members surveyed prefer in-store shopping to online, while just 23 percent prefer only shopping online. But to get Gen Zers coming in to your store, it has to be a fun time—56 percent said an enjoyable in-store experience impacts where they shop.