Make Way for Marketing to Generation Z

Recent marketing trends highlighted the power and influence of shoppers in the early teens-to-mid-twenties age range—a.k.a. Generation Z. They’re young, but they have purchasing power that’s driven by definite sets of values and preferences. Find out what to keep in mind for bringing your marketing “A game” to the attention of Generation Z.

How much purchasing power does Generation Z have, and what types of marketing do they respond to?

A recent report in PR Newswire reported that the buying power of Generation Z is equal to approximately $143 billion. And within the next couple of years, this sum will rise. That’s why it’s important to be prepared to market to them, based on the types of media that appeals to them. Consider social media, and particularly YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.  (It’s no coincidence that these platforms are video and image-centric. The phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” was never more relevant to an audience than it is to Generation Z.)

YouTube and Generation Z

According to Forbes India last December, in the United States, YouTube was the most popular social media site among members of Generation Z. Citing findings from YPulse, usage of this video platform by this particular audience held strong at 77 percent. The popularity of YouTube as a site frequently visited was based on its practicality and usefulness. Where Generation Z is concerned, an important distinction worth noting is their intent behind spending time on YouTube: Education via this site, is as important to them as being entertained. They are always on the hunt for new information, and YouTube is indeed a source for learning new things. And although the figure of 77 percent is impressive, YouTube is however facing competition with TikTok, which is gaining an edge on YouTube in popularity among this young audience.

TikTok and Generation Z

As stated earlier, Generation Z is heavily influenced by imagery. Indeed, this audience was recently referred to in World Finance as perhaps the first “true digital natives.” Additionally, members of this age group are selective about their online browsing habits and more often than not prefer checking out TikTok videos over other sites and social media platforms. Last year, TikTok usage rate for Generation Z was approximately 67 percent, which was a five percent increase from 2020. And that leaves Pinterest…

Pinterest and Generation Z

Findings from Pinterest Business stated that the Generation Z audience had a 20 percent lead over older age groups when it came to interest and enthusiasm about new products. (Again, the factor of learning something new and useful, which is what this audience values about YouTube, transfers as well to Pinterest.) Going further, 80 percent of the Generation Z audience purchased new products last year.

So, the picture is clear (no pun intended): Branding to Generation Z should be image and/or video-based and appeal to their values and sense of identity. And what are these values?

What matters to Generation Z?

Generally, when people are younger, they tend to be more idealistic. It’s part of the natural course of establishing themselves as individuals. The young people of Generation Z are indeed idealistic—and on a scale perhaps never before seen. Daniel Todaro lists these ideals and characteristics in BrandingMag, which marketers should be mindful of when trying to appeal to Generation Z:

  • The most accurate and detailed information as well as immediacy are key to creating interest in a brand. While this may be true of anyone at any age when it comes to considering a purchase, Mr. Todaro notes that Generation Z is creating a benchmark—or raising the bar—and that the marketing tactics of a brand should be to the point, but without a hard sell.

  • Being authentic is vital. If a brand doesn’t deliver, many disappointed customers—regardless of age—will no longer purchase it and they may even take to the Internet to post their criticisms. But remember: As Generation Z values sincerity above everything else, their opinions will make more of an impact. How much so? Mr. Todaro mentions findings from IPSOS stating that 40 percent of Generation Z will boycott a brand if they find it inauthentic. (Only 16 percent of Millennials will boycott brands if dissatisfied.) So, these young people walk the proverbial talk. And don’t forget: Generation Z is the customer base that brands need to attract. Any business that loses their loyalty by being inauthentic ultimately loses revenue.

  • Keep the shopping journey—from browsing to purchase—synchronized, as 84 percent of Generation Z members would be inclined to shop at an online store that provides as seamless a shopping experience as possible. Originally, this trend was a welcome relief from the practice of shoppers visiting different stores—whether online or in person. Now, it has now become the expectation—especially by Generation Z.

Another Generation Z value that could benefit local businesses

Tying in with the point listed above about authenticity, social consciousness is another huge priority for Generation Z. The PR Newswire piece noted that these customers are attracted to independent brands (read: small businesses) that understand and practice sustainability, among other factors. Additionally, local businesses that are active in their communities and actively support equality on all fronts can gain a lot of Generation Z members as fans.

As the age-old saying states, “the only thing constant is change.” As generations change, so do their needs, wants, and values. And Generation Z may well serve as the greatest example of these changes. If you own a small business or shop, you’ve likely had a few of these young people as customers. And, if you follow the points listed above, you will have more customers. It’s all about being able to change.

Let EGC help your business change with the times. We can help attract younger audiences to you through everything from thorough consumer research to on-point brand strategy—not to mention video production—among other marketing services.

Get in touch with us to learn more.