You know your niece or nephew who has their phone in their hands at all time? Or your younger sibling who seems to hide in their room taking up more than their fair share of the family bandwidth? Then you, my friend, know a Gen Zer.
Generation Z…for many, the term sends shivers down the spine…who are they? What do they want? Why are they so obsessed with Snapchat? Many businesses may have just figured out how to tailor their brand to Millennials, and aren’t looking to rebrand or revamp for many more years. Nevertheless, Gen Z is here, and they’re here to stay.
Who is Generation Z?
Generation Z is the generation born between 1995 and 2012, meaning they are anywhere between 5 and 22 years old (give or take – the exact years and ages are rarely agreed upon by researchers). Although they are young, they already have $44 billion in buying power – that’s with very few of them in the workforce at the current moment!*
What makes Generation Z so distinct is this: they have never lived a day in their life without the Internet, cell phones, computers or social media. In fact, they spend over 74% of their free time online (over 5 hours a day!). Often times, they’re just revisiting the same five apps over and over again (over half of those surveyed admit to visiting Snapchat over 11 times in one day).
With this compulsive need to be connected at all times, comes their absolute infatuation with the internet. In fact, 64% of the Gen Zs that were studied said they would rather have the internet than a car. Moreover, 60% of respondents said that they could NOT live without the internet, and it would be a struggle to survive without it. They mentioned it being as important in their life as water and air.** Over dramatic much?
What is Generation Z Interested in?
To put it simply: Gen Z is interested in technology. Phones, gadgets, the newest and shiniest – if they see something new, they likely want it (or already have it). Hoverboards, drones, virtual reality glasses – these are just a few technologies that Gen Z is obsessed with. Why? Because Ariel Winters or Justin Bieber are.
Generation Z is the first generation to be fully immersed in celebrity brand endorsements that are being done almost completely on social media. Gone are the days of Michael Jordan on your box of Wheaties; rather, one of the Kardashians merely records herself with a product, posts it to Instagram, and it will sell out within the hour. Generation Z is often looking to celebrities to tell them what to buy, and many times name brand recognition plays an integral role in what they choose to purchase – i.e., they prefer the $30 Kylie Jenner Lip Kit to the $5 drugstore lipstick.
Moreover, since their phone is pretty much their best friend, the vast majority of their time spent online is through a mobile device. In fact, 60% of Gen Zers studied said that they will leave a website or app if it is slow to load or not mobile friendly.*** Moreover, they prefer websites that offer a user experience. Think: custom made journals, uploading photos to create a unique phone case, etc. Any sort of website that offers an interactive aspect appeals to Gen Z.
Change your Marketing Strategy
So, what can you do to get these little buggers interested in your product? The following is a list of tips to make sure your marketing is appealing to Generation Z:
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly.
- Consider creating an Instagram account – and use it!
- Use ads on multiple platforms – Gen Zs are notorious multitaskers, and often need to see the same message multiple times before clicking or committing.
- Integrate a user experience into your website. If you offer a physical product, consider adding a customizable aspect to it.
- Know what they want. Check out this extensive study done by Google – they asked 1,000 Gen Z teens what they like about different brands. Seriously, it’s very insightful.
Moral of the story: Gen Z is here, and they know what they want from a brand or product. Revamping your marketing to appeal to them will ultimately give you a leg up in the changing market.