What are the most effective ways to market your products to the next generation? The unnamed Generation Z (Gen Z) is entering the market as shoppers and their age cohort alone makes up a quarter of the population in the United States. Members of Gen Z, or Post-Millennials, as Pew Research Center, a reputable nonpartisan demographic research analytics firm, has chosen to call them, are individuals born in the year 1997 or later. According to a study by Fast Company, Gen Z will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020. For now, many of them are coming of age, with the oldest of this generation turning 21 years-old in 2018. Researching the buying motives of the previous generation, Millennials, when they came of age, paved the way for researchers to understand how Post-Millennials view marketing. With that information in mind, here are 3 effective ways to market your products to the next generation.
What are Defining Traits of the Next Generation?
Post-Millennials want to be a part of the development of their products. When they were young, around elementary school age, companies began experimenting with customizable features. Take Nike for instance: the shoe brand allowed consumers to design themselves a unique pair of shoes right on their website. Build-A-Bear Workshops took a similar approach, giving children the experience of creating their own stuffed animal from the stuffing itself to the toy’s clothing and accessories.
Gen Z-ers are also known for their desire to make the world a better place; simply put, they are driven by doing good. Post-Millennials care about environmental issues. In fact, 76% are concerned about humanity’s impact
on the planet. Social causes surrounding racial, gender, and income inequality are also at the front of many Gen Z-er’s minds. Data also shows that 60% of Gen Z consumers “want their jobs to impact the world”, and “26 % of 16-to-19-year-olds currently volunteer.”
Another interesting trait of this generation: Gen Z-ers trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. A Fullscreen report found that “over half of teens would prefer to see a brand advertise with social influencers rather than television commercials, pre-roll video ads, sponsored articles/posts or banner ads.”
What’s more, Fast Company describes Gen Z-ers as “risk-averse, practical, and pragmatic,” They went on to note, “Whereas millennials were criticized for their lack of focus, Gen Z are determined to plan. Gen Z has been strongly shaped by their individualistic, self-reliant Gen X parents and they are committed to avoiding the mistakes their meandering millennial predecessors make.”
With these main qualities in mind, how can companies sell to Post-Millennials?
How to Effectively Market Your Products to the Next Generation
1. Be authentic and inclusive
Distrusting of traditional advertising, Post-Millennials see through the overly touched-up commercials that we are constantly exposed to. It is important to remember that to reach Gen Z you need to meet them on their level, feature real people and stories in your campaigns, and build a brand that seems down to earth, and relatable. Aerie by American Eagle took this approach as they decided not to manipulate their photos with programs like Photoshop and feature real people instead of models. This was seen most recently in their #AerieREAL campaign, which showcased a diversified set of female models highlighting women with disabilities.
2. Team up with influencers
The next time your brand is looking for a new spokesperson, instead of collaborating with a celebrity to endorse your products, you will find more success pairing up with influencers. To find influencer candidates, you can search the web using Google, Cortana, or Alexa for bloggers in your brand’s niche. You can also scroll through social media feeds to see who people are talking about or even better, who is talking about your brand or relevant keywords. In a similar way, look to your customers! You might just find a few who love your products enough to promote them with passion. Once you find your future promoters, be sure to get in touch and write up an agreement on how you would like to work together.
3. Enable product customization
As mentioned previously, Post-Millennial shoppers crave to be a part of the product development processes. When you are trying to decide what merchandise to sell, try to seek their input or let them build the products themselves. If possible, construct situations that enable customers to build and customize their merchandise. In the scenario that your company does not sell individualized products, try allowing customers to make unique packages instead, like filling a reusable container with 3-5 makeup products of their choice for a set price.
When it comes to marketing to Post-Millennials, you can’t go wrong with being authentic, partnering with an influencer, or offering customization.
Last modified: August 22, 2018