Gen Z is the first generation to grow up in a completely digital world of their own making. They've never known a world without smartphones and social media, and they're shaping how we engage with digital products.
Gen Z is defined as people born from 1996-2015. They’ve never used a phone book to look up a number, and they’re the first generation that can’t remember a time before Google. In fact, according to an annual global survey commissioned by WP Engine, more than half (58%) said they can't be without internet access for more than four hours before becoming uncomfortable, making them highly dependent on their digital connections.
Gen Zers are true digital natives who have an innate understanding of how technology works. This makes them very savvy consumers, but it also means that they're tough to reach with traditional marketing tactics. Their digital ethos has created a unique set of expectations that brands must meet to be successful.
These individuals are not only tech-savvy but also highly connected and well informed about the world around them. As a result, they can easily navigate the digital world and are quick to spot fakes.
With Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube becoming the primary social networks for Gen Z, brands have a new opportunity to stretch their product offerings via digital means. Due to the pandemic, these digital channels have become more popular than ever before.
Connecting with Gen Z
Gen Zers are more likely to be loyal to brands that serve value and authenticity above all else. Gen Z shoppers say they want brand interactions that feel authentic as well as useful and personal. In the same WP Engine survey, 82% of Gen Z trust a company more if the images they use in their ads are actual customers, and 72% are more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes.
So, how can your brand successfully stretch into this new digital frontier? Here's what you need to know about Gen Z and their online habits to guide your digital product stretch for Gen Z.
Define what's important about Gen Z's digital experience
Gen Zers are always connected, and they expect brands to be too. They want to interact with brands on a multitude of channels, including social media, mobile apps, and websites. They also want to feel like the brand is listening to them and paying attention to their needs. Therefore, brands must have an authentic presence across channels that allow instant communication with consumers.
Identify Gen Zs' favorite brand touchpoints
Brands should identify where exactly on the internet Gen Zers go most often, so they can put themselves in front of them. Some of the most popular hangouts for Gen Zers include Instagram and Snapchat. Still, you'll also find them searching for content on YouTube, streaming videos on Netflix or Hulu, and buying products through Amazon Prime.
Be transparent about what you sell
Remember that this generation has grown up with the internet and is well aware that companies will do whatever it takes to sell their product. Be honest and transparent about what you sell, and how it works and be straightforward about your company's policies — particularly where privacy is concerned.
Listen to Gen Zs' feedback
Gen Zers want brands to be active listeners and respond when they receive consumer feedback consumers. Brands should monitor all mentions of their name, logo, or marketing campaigns across channels like Twitter and Facebook so they can immediately find out how their customers are reacting to new product launches and ad campaigns.
Don’t just sell products online
Experiences are everything to this generation, so don't just sell them products online — create experiences online! Experiential marketing is all about creating an experience for customers that helps them connect with your brand on a deeper level. The way to reach this generation is by making that experience feel personalized. Allow access to your brand by listening to what your audience wants, providing a seamless shopping experience, and creating engaging content.
Our FullSurge brand strategy consultants have expertise in helping brands determine what their customers care about most and designing great customer experiences. With Gen Z being the most digitally savvy generation yet, you need to ensure your brand is ready for them when they become a part of your target audience. These consumers expect you to have a strong digital presence, and if you don't, they're going to turn elsewhere for their needs. Contact us today to learn more!