Less than a decade ago we were discussing how businesses can focus their marketing strategies for millennials. But as millennials are now well into their adulthood, marketers are turning towards their next consumer demographic, the Generation Z. The oldest Gen Z’ers have already graduated college and entering the workforce. As more of Generation Z graduates and enters the workforce, their spending power grows.
Though there are similarities between millennials and Gen Z, they have some significant differences that require brands to adjust their approach. Statista, a leading provider of consumer and market data, puts the population of Gen Z in the U.S. at around 86.43 million as of 2017. This number is already larger than Gen X and two thirds the size of baby boomers.
So, it’s no surprise that they live a much different life than millennials or even their parents. This generation probably can’t remember a time before smartphones. There are eight key differences between Gen Z’s and millennials, with those being:
- Better Multi-Taskers – By being surrounded by technology more often than not, they have become quite capable of handling multiple tasks at once. They can quickly shift between work and play, even with multiple distractions around them.
- Less Focused – Members of the Gen Z generation live in a world with continuous updates. They process information faster than other generations thanks to apps like Snapchat and Instagram. Subsequently, their attention span tends to be lower than those of millennials.
- Full Of Early Starters – Many are predicting a higher number of teens aged 16 to 18 will go straight to the workforce instead of going the traditional route of obtaining a higher education. They might instead opt to finish their schooling online.
- Bargains – Millennials are likelier to care more about prices than Gen Z, which could be due to them growing up during the recession. Only 46% of Gen Z polled that they would search online for a coupon, while 67% millennials said that they would the same.
- Higher Expectations – While millennials remember a time where they would play solitaire, come home to dial-up internet and use AOL, Gen Z was born into a world full of technology.
- More Entrepreneurial – Gen Z’ers desire a working environment that is more independent, with 72% of teens wanting to start a business one day.
- More Global – As the first ‘global’ generation, Gen Z’ers are more global in their relatability, interactions, and thinking. Diversity is expected with this generation.
- Big On Individuality – Generation Z members were born social. Nearly 92% of Gen Z’ers have a digital footprint, arguably due to the media and celebrities they follow.
Gen Z features a large variety of demographic characteristics simply due to the age range, so it can be hard to generalize. Automotive companies are now seeing that Gen Z’ers are less interested in driving than other generations have been. Instead, they are more invested in driverless vehicles. So, what can your dealership do to market to this new and upcoming demographic?
Seven Steps To Make Your Brand Gen Z Friendly
- Avoid Idealizing Life And Feature Relatable Content
Generation Z prefers marketing that features relatable content. Some brands, who choose to still focus on millennials, have been seen to perform poorly because the produced content does not align with shoppers preferences.
Instead, you can embrace user-generated content to depict real-life situations. This strategy also helps to build your credibility among prospects. Automotive brands, like BMW, frequently feature user-generated content on social networking platforms.
- Embrace New Media
On average Gen Z’ers are likely to visit social media platforms eleven times per day. Unlike millennials who preferred to use Facebook, Generation Z prefers to use Instagram and Snapchat to connect with friends. They also are a large number of consumers of content on YouTube.
In order for your dealership to be successful, your brand must successfully incorporate platforms that Gen Z’ers are active on. This means developing a strategy for YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat.
- Think Mobile First
Gen Z’ers are mobile. When surveyed, Gen Z’ers tended to use up to 5 different screens but most often used smartphones to consume content. This shows the importance behind brands needing to offer an outstanding mobile website experience.
- Realize That Gen Z’ers Are Not Millennials
Contrary to popular belief, Gen Z’ers are not millennials. Where millennials are optimistic, collaborative and prefer working in an open office; Gen Z’ers are considered to be ambitious, independent and prefer to have their own office.
- Get To Know Them
Members of Gen Z have been known to find inspiration from social media influencers that produce inspiring and intimate content. Brands and company that are interested in connecting with Gen Z’ers should consider following a few influencers to understand the lexicon and psyche associated with this generation. Typically, these influencers provide their fans with a glimpse inside a somewhat transparent, inspiring, and entrepreneurial life.
- Develop A Technological Brand Narrative
Since Gen Z’ers are technology driven, there are many tech companies that appeal to this generation, with Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple being some of them. These brands are appealing to Gen Z’ers because of their ability to shape the world in which we live in.
- Remember That ‘Cool’ Matters
Finally, it’s important to remember that members of the Generation Z range from 5 years to 22 years of age. Most of them are teenagers, and so, being cool is very important to them. According to a Google Study, Disney, YouTube, and Oreos are considered cool because the brands themselves have developed a narrative using new media that speaks to this demographic. However, it’s important to mention that these successful brands still managed to maintain an image that is consistent with their brand history.
With around $44bn USD in purchasing power, Generation Z expected to become a significant demographic, even more so than millennials. In order to appeal to this generation, it is necessary for brands to embrace the new media and use them to tell a story that appeals to this new and powerful generation.