Getting to Know Gen Z
So, who qualifies as a Gen Z? A Gen Z is anyone born between the years of 1997 & 2012. That means that in the year 2020, Gen Z’s range in age from 8-23 years old. So, why is this generation so important to get to know in the year 2020? The simple answer is that they’re the future, and at age 23, the future is now.
Gen Z is here and they’re going to be here for a while. As this generation enters the workforce, and the economy for that matter, the importance of understanding their behaviors and habits will only grow in importance as their buying power increases.
As the new generational powerhouse already holds upwards of $600 billion in indirect spending, it’s important to better understand their likes, dislikes & motivations. Gen Z’s make up nearly 33% of the world’s entire population and they’ll increase their foothold on the economy by the year for the foreseeable future.
So, what drives the spending habits of this new wave and motivates them to make a purchase? How can you influence that behavior by leveraging branded products? There are a number of places you could look from music to cinema, but a common theme that this new age appreciates is technology-based. Where does that leave you as a promotional marketer? With streaming services such as Netflix & Hulu being free of advertising, or music powerhouses such as Apple Music & Spotify offering advertising-free versions, what are you doing to associate your brand with consumers who are avoiding ads at all costs (literally) during their desired activities?
You must adapt to connect. Let’s take a look at a very real scenario for all marketers trying to connect with this new age to consider. A young professional, let’s say 23 years old starts the day by listening to a podcast on their way to work, or maybe their latest Spotify playlist. Once they get to the office after their commute on the subway, they take their earbuds out, log in to their computer and begin their day. Throughout the day, they’re crunching numbers and they focus better with music playing, so once again, they’re plugged into their device. They do this for a few hours a day Mon-Fri. Now, the workday is over.
On their evening commute, yet again they’re plugged into music or a podcast. Once they arrive back home, they hustle to throw on their gym clothes and get a quick workout in before dinner. After their workout, they cook a healthy meal before planting themselves firmly on their couch for an all-night Netflix binge before going to bed just to do it all over again tomorrow. I hope you didn’t blink, because just like that, their day is over.
This is the reality for most young professionals, they’re always plugged in and for the most part, they’re doing it ad-free. But don’t take my word for it, look at the numbers below highlighting the interests of Gen Z’s. Most all interests include technology in one form or another. So, where does your brand fit into the equation of the average day in the life of a Gen Z?
While this generation does seemingly everything they can to avoid ads, the importance of understanding their interests and adapting to what we currently know is mounting. Really, it becomes a process of adapting your marketing efforts and framing your brand in a favorable manner. What might this look like given the scenario laid out above?
Branded tech products that compliment your consumer’s day-to-day is going to be the next wave of promotional products. For the outlined scenario, branded earbuds or headphones make a lot of sense. Additionally, portable charging devices and carrying cases place your brand in the presence of your consumers in a positive and helpful way. The key is exposing your brand at every turn and doing so in a way that positively contributes to the routine of your end-user. When you fill a void that they either knew or didn’t know existed with a branded product, not only will you be gaining frequent impressions, but you’ll be creating a positive brand association with your consumers.
But beyond playing to the obvious interests of this demographic, they also appreciate innovation in the products they use. So think outside the box and identify products that they’ll find use out of but maybe didn’t realize they needed. For example, a desk or countertop vacuum is a clever and innovative product (not to mention an affordable one).
Items like these catch the attention of this age range and it’s something they’ll get use out of. While maybe they wouldn’t purchase it out of pocket, as a gift it’s something they’ll appreciate. As this demographic comes to age, they like to see outside the box ideas from brands that show they’re on the forefront along with them.
When it comes to marketing to the next generation, think tech, think trends, and think outside the box. Study them and apply what you learn about and from them to craft messages that resonate through a channel that leaves lasting impressions.