How to Market to Gen Z

  • Insights

Have you met Gen Z? If you haven’t already, first check out our blog post, Meet Gen Z: The Population Tsunami, to get to know the mindset of this powerful generation.

Move over Millennials, WGSN estimates that at 2 billion globally, the Gen Z demographic is slated to be the single largest group of consumers worldwide in 5-7 years. With large population numbers comes large worldwide change as Gen Z consumer behaviors have already begun shaping the world. Gen Z’s coming of age has brought about a lot of buying power — $143 billion dollars to be exact. Marketing to this generation is a whole different ball game though, as their relationships with brands differs than their preceding generations.

Under the Influencers

Social media (namely Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat) plays a large part in Gen Z’s consumer behaviors, informing young customers what’s desirable. 65% of Gen Zers share product reviews on social media, and more than 80% of Gen Z say they’re influenced by others on social media when it comes to making purchases. Both Millennials and Gen Z are swayed by influencers, but Gen Z prefers authentic and relatable influencers over the polished, perfect, #goals social-media celebs brought about by the Millennial generation. One-off influencer appearances don’t resonate with this group — they prefer authentic, long-term partnerships which clever brands are learning to use to their advantage. Influencers that have relationships with brands encourage consumers to seek out brand loyal relationships as well.

Unpolished And Flawless

Capitalizing on voicing opinions about products, reliance on peer’s opinions, and desire for authenticity in marketing, brands are relying on user-generated content (UGC) to appeal to this generation. Beauty brand Glossier is well-known for its laid-back brand image — combining effortlessly chic packaging and unpolished-yet-flawless user-generated content in an aesthetically-pleasing feed. Like Glossier, sustainable comforter brand Buffy relies heavily on UCG to craft a relaxed and relatable brand.

Voting With Their Wallet

This generation cares deeply about a variety of causes and leverages their immense purchasing power as a vehicle for their activism — opting for brands that support their passion for diversity, equality, transparency, and sustainability. 76% of Generation Z has purchased a product to support an issue supported by a brand, and 67% have boycotted or would boycott a brand that clashes with their own morals, according to DoSomething Strategic. Purpose or cause-driven marketing has quickly become a “must-have,” not just a “nice-to-have” for brands — proving that aligning brands with authenticity and philanthropy captures the hearts of this upcoming generation.


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