With Gen Z soon to enter the buying cycle, are brands doing enough to excite them?

The buying patterns of the new generation are quite different from the previous ones. While marketers had a difficult enough time cracking Millennials, they now need to prepare for the Gen Z the post-1997 generation that will be 40% of consumers market by 2020.

According to a Kelton study, the buying power of Gen Z is expected to be at $ 29 billion in 2020. According to their report ‘Gen Z doesn’t need your brand,’ 80% of the youngsters think that brands are mostly about making money and three out of five say they do not trust what brands say.

According to experts, Gen Z consumers have informed reformers, and are digital powerhouses who are influencers but also are influenced. Experts are calling this age group as the ‘make shit happen generation,’ where marketers have to present on their brands in a way that appeals to them.

Since two out of three Gen Z consumers feel that brands add to the noise, the brands now have to ensure that they become ‘authentic’ and ‘electric’. Some ways in which these values can be added are:

Explore the ‘DNA’ of the brand: Enterprises have to express what makes them unique and defines their core values. The Gen Z generation is more about values. Kuba Kierlanczyk, Associate Director, Cultural Insights and Strategy, Kelton in a webinar said, “Millennials are more of narcissistic in nature where they want for themselves. But Gen Z is more researched and wants to follow more values.” The brands have to think about the impact on society. The branding statements have to go from functional to philosophical and also reflect what the company is all about.

Follow and involve Gen Z: Gen Z is on different social media platforms than Gen X or even millennials. Marketers must follow relevant conversations on platforms like Reddit, Instagram, and Tik Tok. Experts suggest that the best resource for information is the Gen Z staff. To make the brand ready and relevant for the future, companies must recruit Gen Z influencers for panel discussions. According to the Kelton report, 70% of Gen Z consumers believe that brands are trying too hard to be ‘cool’. The best cultural insights of the generation can be only received from the staff.

Touch the ‘humans’: Gen Z had access to mobile phones and the internet since they were very young. The way they research and use the internet is very different from other generations driven by a firm belief in values; they expect companies to stick to promises. Promotions of brands can start using a great promise. A great promise is something that is direct – in more of a straight way, sounds human – where the message is very relatable, is aspirational with bold language and creates a sense of being credible and true.

Help them in ‘making shit happen’: Research suggests that Gen Z is more into DIY than the millennials. To capture their attention, brands have to create opportunities for them to participate in a shared purpose. Give them something to talk about like products and experiences that are fleeting or limited edition. To attract them, enterprises must build tools and inspirational material to help Gen Z create their own products or content.

Companies have to consider that Gen Z is people who are unapologetically individualistic and targeting all of them together will not work. According to the Kelton study, 57% of Gen Z believes that brands label or stereotype them and do not understand individual needs and beliefs. Targeting small groups of this generation, giving them the ideology they follow and values they believe in, maybe the best way for marketers to attract them.