Gen Z

By Ashley Stults, TrizCom PR Intern

Open any magazine or newspaper today and chances are you’ll see an article about millennials. One group, however, is slowly taking over the millennial fixation. Generation Z, the generation born after 1995, is taking the marketing industry by storm.

With Gen Z often being described as “digital natives,” this group grew up with technology and spends a majority of their time online. According to a study conducted by IBM where 15,000 consumers aged 13 to 21 from 16 countries participated, 74 percent of respondents spend their free time online, estimating five hours or more a day, and 73 percent use mobile devices to text and chat socially with family and friends. This study noted that Gen Z is also looking to have in-depth conversations regarding brand relationships, with 42 percent saying they would participate in an online game for a campaign and 43 percent would participate in a product review.

So what does this mean for brands?

1.   Gen Z wants to be engaged.

  • The study found that Gen Z cares about product quality and availability, but participation and engagement is what they truly cherish in a long-term brand relationship.

2.   Be quick.

  • Gen Z doesn’t like to wait. Roughly 50 percent of Gen Z members surveyed said the most important thing to them when shopping is being able to find things fast, and more than 60 percent said they will not use an app or website that is hard to navigate or slow to load.

3.    Walk the walk.

  • Don’t just say you’re a good company; prove it. Gen Z wants to see leaders practicing what they preach and being transparent.

4.   Gen Z is accepting.

  • According to Forbes, Gen Z expects to see diversity in marketing. Take Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, for example. Women of all kinds were featured in the campaign, and it was a hit. Gen Z wants to see acceptance and diversity in a brand’s marketing efforts.

Gen Z has high expectations of brands and expects them to deliver. In an ever-changing marketing culture, brands must adapt to the transparent environment that this powerful generation demands.