Meeting the high expectations from the newest generation
As a marketer and mom, I find it fascinating to look at the shared values and experiences of different generations. Raising three Gen Z children, I can tell you firsthand that this generation is different and engaging with them requires a new approach.
“Gen Z is better versed in using voice search and the IoT, they’re more attuned to digital inauthenticity and insincerity, and they value the voices of their peers far more than those of brands.”
Technology is undeniably the greatest shared experience among this generation, who are currently between the ages of 6 and 24. Business owners today must understand how technology shapes Gen Z if they want to reach ~ 68 million with a purchasing power of $44B – not to mention an estimated $200B based on the influence they have on their parents.
As a business owner, consider what you can do to prepare for this upcoming generation and meet the expectations of these digital natives. Because those expectations are high!
To better understand this generation, here are just a few facts about Gen Z.
In 2011, 23% of teens owned mobile phones. In 2018, when many in Gen Z entered their teenage years, that number jumped to 95%.
Gen Z was born into a world with smartphones, social media, voice search, and instant access to information. According to a recent McKinsey study, the search for the truth is at the root of all Gen Z’s behavior. Is it any surprise when they shared birth years with companies such as these?
- Google (1998)
- eLearning (1999)
- Xbox (2001)
- YouTube (2005)
- Smart devices – iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010)
- Instagram (2010)
- Alexa (2014)
Growing up just one click away from anything they want to know, buy, learn, watch, or play, Gen Z is comfortable processing and engaging with vast amounts of information. No wonder their average attention span is 8 seconds.
Gen Z is the most racially and ethnically diverse compared to previous generations. They are connected to a diverse set of people and groups. And they excel at integrating virtual and offline experiences. As a result, they are accepting of diverse perspectives, more than any generation before them.
Their expectations are elevated not out of entitlement, but as a result of their reality.
For example, my kids ask me, “Why go to the store and wait in line when you can just have it delivered?” In their reality, brands exist online, something that we all became familiar with during COVID.
Beyond price, they care more about brands that reflect who they are and what they care about. My eldest purchases her clothing on Instagram from influencers who reflect her fashion sense as well as her social stand for green products. As a result, brands are increasingly concerned about how an influencer chooses to market and wear their products.
And Gen Z demands authenticity. My 17-year-old recognizes the difference between brands with corporate voices vs. those that reflect the fan voices. She notes, “It’s like the social media people there know me and we are friends. They post memes that include exactly what I would say. They are part of the community vs. just posting information for the community.”
For businesses, this means you cannot be focused on just making money. You must also be about making a difference, you must be authentic, and you must ensure convenience, ease, and simplicity in your digital presence. Are you ready for Gen Z?
If you’re looking for research, storytelling, and digital marketing for your business, Audienz has the solution for you.