Take a minute and close your eyes. Look inward. Consider yourself objectively as a human being.
Do you wear skinny jeans? Have you ever shared a photo of a cronut on Instagram? Do you know what charcuterie is?
If so, we hate to break it to you, but you are probably “cringe.”
“Cringe” culture is basically a Gen Z way of telling older generations that they are too much. The new generation isn’t into imported cheeses, beard oils, or Harry Potter. And they don’t know who Lana Del Rey even is.
The result is a cultural gap that leaves many companies wondering: How do we market our goods to these people? Luckily, we have put together a complete guide to help you market to Gen Z consumers.
Who Are Gen Z Consumers?
Anyone born after 1996 and before 2012 can consider themselves a part of Generation Z. The oldest members of this generation are about 26 years old. The youngest members of Gen Z still can’t vote.
Nonetheless, this generation has a lot of cultural influence. Thanks to our social media prowess, Gen Z is already spearheading trends. And we are using our influence to show that we are different from previous generations.
According to a study by the Pew Research Center, Gen Z has fostered our own, unique set of values.
Our generation is more concerned about issues of racial inequality than previous generations. Gen-Z also tends to believe that same-sex marriage will benefit society. It also overwhelmingly supports the idea of preferred pronouns.
As a result, we can consider Gen Z to be one of the most liberal generations yet. Thus, traditional marketing methods won’t necessarily reach folks in this age group.
What These Values Mean for Marketing
Gen Z is liberal yet pragmatic. Gone are the days of idealistic Millennials dreaming of a utopian future. Instead, Gen Z is looking for practical ways to live the values that we preach.
This means that we want to support companies that reflect our values. We want to see businesses engaging in ethical practices, whether that is producing recyclable clothes or introducing a genderless bathroom in stores.
But, we won’t fall for random marketing ploys.
Young consumers are more likely to research a company’s ethics before making a purchase. One report by McKinsey found that 65% of Gen Z members researched a company’s practices before buying.
The same report found that a whopping 80% of Gen Z-ers refuse to purchase anything from a company involved in any sort of scandal.
As a result, marketing to Gen Z must center on a sense of morality.
Many companies would benefit from showing off their acts of corporate social responsibility. They can also run marketing campaigns based on “green” production and donations to people in need.
The Generation of Individuals
Millennials are long-known as the “me” generation. However, Gen Z’s are arguably even more individualistic than Millennials are.
If Millennials are self-obsessed, Gen Z-ers view our identities as more unique.
We don’t want to wear the same clothes or buy the same car as everyone else. We want to mix clothing and styles to stand out from the crowd.
We also see identities as fluid. A member of Gen Z may be feeling feminine on Monday and masculine on Tuesday. We may wear bright pink eyelashes one day and no make-up the next.
As a result, members of Gen Z are becoming known as “identity nomads.” We don’t want a brand to tell us who we are. And we certainly don’t want to purchase an item to “fit in.”
On the contrary, Gen Z folks want to buy products that allow us to express our inner uniqueness. But, remember, this sense of uniqueness is a dynamic one.
Gen Z people want products to represent how we feel on a particular day. Thus, modern youth marketing is all about showcasing items as a means of self-expression.
A Rise in Experiential Marketing
Gen Z is the first generation of people to grow up immersed in the digital world. We consume a lot more media than past generations. One study even found that we watch an average of 68 videos per day.
We are constantly being bombarded by advertisements and brand collaborations. As a result, these forms of marketing don’t always reach us.
We much prefer experiential marketing strategies. Pop-up shops, digital reality expositions, and street festivals are all fun. Gen Zers love to record and share these kinds of experiences on social media.
These experiences, however, feel much more authentic than a typical 10-second YouTube ad. They last longer, too. This means that participants can create lasting memories of the promotional event.
We might not be able to recall one of the hundreds of advertisements that we encounter on a given day. However, we will certainly remember an hour-long street festival where we engaged with a brand on a personal level.
Run Your Experiential Marketing Campaign Today
Are you excited about the prospect of running an experiential marketing campaign? Are you still unsure where to start? If so, click here to contact Auctus Agency. Auctus knows exactly what kinds of marketing campaigns appeal to members of Gen Z. Our experiential marketing campaigns are fun, immersive, and effective.
Our company works individually with each brand to create a unique strategy based on your needs. We will also help you organize the entire event — from the planning to the execution.
Reach out to us and start your modern marketing campaign today!