In a time where any given employer could have four generations of people representing their workforce, marketers are also struggling to appeal to each generation with their marketing strategies. In this four-part series, we break down the characteristics of each generation — Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z — and discuss their values, buying habits and what not to say in your marketing.
This blog in the series will focus on marketing to Gen Z.
Gen Z encapsulates those born roughly between 1995 and 2010. They are the first generation of digital natives — meaning they’ve never known life without the internet. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Gen Z is expected to make up 30% of the U.S. workforce by 2030. Made up of around 68 million people, Gen Z is also the most racially and ethnically diverse generation, clocking in at 52% non-Hispanic whites, according to the Pew Research Center.
Members of Gen Z buck trends and set trends in their own way — most notably their disruption of traditional gender norms. Generation Z gravitates toward gender inclusivity and unisex options. In fact, 77% feel more positive toward brands that promote gender equality on social media.
Some brands have already reacted to this, such as Procter & Gamble. The company removed the Venus symbol (the traditional symbol for the female sex) from its Always line of hygiene products in an effort to be more inclusive for nonbinary and transgender customers.
Generation Z also values individual expression, self-love and authenticity. They don’t respond well to brands that say they value diversity but don’t actually show it. According to research, 7 out of 10 Gen Zers say it is important to defend causes related to identity. They are more interested than previous generations were in human rights, especially in matters related to race and ethnicity, in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, and in feminism.
Generation Z gravitates toward omnichannel marketing and sales — as digital natives, they expect to be able to consume products and services at any time in any place. 55% of Gen Z use their smartphones for five or more hours a day, and 26% use them for more than 10 hours per day, according to the Pew Research Center.
They are pragmatic and analytical about their purchasing decisions and prefer to buy from companies they consider ethical. The people born into Gen Z also trust a recommendation from friends more than any other review — in other words, word-of-mouth marketing.
Inclusivity in marketing doesn’t stop at what a person looks like. You have to consider their whole identity, what makes them tick and what influences their purchasing behaviors. The things that resonate with the Millenials may not move the needle for the younger people of Gen Z.
Check out the other blogs in this series:
Not sure how to parse the generations that make up your buyer personas? Kuno Creative has a team of experts ready to help segment your audience and boost your bottom line.