Is Your Brand Ready For Generation Z?

By: Cameron Joye

December 19, 2013

generation z
social media

Social media is ‘king of the hill’ in today’s marketing world, and companies can’t afford to be unprepared in terms of social media strategy. So how do you most effectively market to Generation Z, the generation with the greatest online engagement compared to any of its predecessors? The substantial impact Generation Z has on brands through social media can absolutely not be ignored.

Generation Z …

… was born at the end of the 20th century and grew up immersed in the digital age. According to Forrester Research, “they are the first generation to consume more media online than offline.” They are far more socially and politically aware than most realize and difficult to convert into brand loyalists.

… witnessed the effects the worldwide economic crisis had on friends and family. Z’s prefer to save and make intelligent purchases. They seek reliability and authenticity in brands and often thoroughly research products via online reviews, blogs, and forums. This generation loves to be part of a community where they can share and discuss with each other.

… is extremely ‘word of mouth‘, so companies should invest time in growing brand advocates. If you want Z’s to love and trust your brand, give their contemporaries a reason to be returning customers. Interact and engage with them in a two-way conversation providing them with a platform to tell you what they want as consumers.

Red Bull: Generation Z’s Ultimate Love Brand

Brands like Red Bull are really getting this concept and even take it a step further. Instead of only pushing their product, they involve themselves in extreme sports communities, host unique sporting events, and get in on conversations. This is the sort of relationship Generation Z expects to have with brands.

Generation Z Prefers Social Networks like Vine & Instagram

It’s important to note that their Facebook usage has recently seen a strong decline. Instead, Z’s are opting for video and picture sharing networks such as Vine, YouTube, and Instagram. If brands want to be noticed, they should consider focusing marketing efforts towards sites like these.

So what’s the bottom line here? Generation Z demands more. They want to be entertained by funny, engaging, and clever content instead of being ‘advertised at’. Companies can’t afford being lazy or boring and must really understand the importance of authenticity. Once a brand understands and applies these concepts, Z’s will be your top brand advocates.