Born after 1997, Generation Z is the next cohort of youngsters following the millennials – a generation raised in the information age, born into social media and all the joys and pitfalls that come with it. This young generation have become the trendsetters, popularising everything from fashion trends to TikTok dances.
With this generation now reaching adulthood, brands and advertisers are looking to them as the next most desirable audience to appeal to. According to Khoros, Gen Z has $143 billion in buying power, accounting for 40% of global consumer shopping. This is a huge figure considering many members of this generation haven’t reached their prime working years yet. Furthermore, Gen Z have an influence on buying decisions beyond their own – 93% of parents say their Gen Z kids affect their buying decisions. That’s a lot of influence.
But marketers are discovering that the same old tactics won’t necessarily work on Gen Z. Being more in tune with culture, Gen Z are more aware of the social and cultural consequences of their purchases. They are wary of large corporations and want to support small businesses where they can. They care about ethics and sustainability, and they feel intense loyalty to the brands that line up with their values. Despite being more media savvy, Gen Z are also more likely to interact with brands on social media and follow the brands that they like.
The stereotype that younger folks have shorter attention spans seems to hold true for Gen Z. While millennials drew the ire of their elders by swapping between up to three screens at once, Gen Z have been known to use as many as five screens at once. These devices could include laptops, tablets, TVs, games consoles, or wearable devices, but by far the most used device by Gen Z is the smartphone. Smartphones tend to occupy 75% of Gen Z’s screen time, making them the most important platform for advertisers.
Advertisers should be mindful of Gen Z’s preference for brevity and design their ads to be short, snappy, and digestible. The popularity of apps like TikTok and Twitch prove that Gen Z have a strong preference for video content. They want to see products in action before they buy, and they are savvy to knock-offs and false advertising. On top of that, Gen Z is big on authenticity. Studies show that Gen Z trusts influencers more than celebrities for product and brand recommendations. Even where influencers are concerned, Gen Z have a sixth sense for sincerity. If an influencer talks about a product that doesn’t align with their values, they will reject it.
Gen Z don’t want to see paid actors, celebrities, or athletes promoting a product. They want ‘real’ people – that is to say, people that they can relate to on a personal level. They want to know the real benefits of the product and how it can help them. Adopt a storytelling approach, rather than a hard-sell.
If you need help reaching this influential generation, get in touch with Project N today. Our experienced (and multi-generational!) content team can help you tailor your message to Gen Z and beyond.