The future of brands is written with Z. Dear marketers, advertisers, entrepreneurs, communicators, recruiters: To secure your place in the future, you have to start by understanding Generation Z in the present.
The future of consumption is already being lived today.
Generation Z, also known as Gen Z, iGen or postmillennial, will soon become the largest cohort of consumers, and brands that want to capitalize on this opportunity will need to understand their trends and expectations.
Members of Generation Z are different from previous generations because they are the first consumers to have grown up fully in the digital age.
It is not easy to decode them but it is essential to understand them.
Gen Z is the term used to refer to individuals born from the mid-1990s to the late 2000s.
This group of consumers grew up with the Internet, smartphones and social media, and as a result, they have a strong preference for digital experiences and platforms.
We are seeing a generation that is questioning and challenging things and forcing us to look in the mirror and challenge the status quo.
They are our future.
We don’t have to like or agree with everything they do and say, and I hope some of us “old timers” can certainly impart some wisdom to them, but the real magic happens when we both keep an open mind and learn from them. each other.
Many adults view Z’s with skepticism. However, we can learn more from them every day. Older people are neither better nor worse; we are different, and we can complement each other perfectly.
Every previous generation has seen a shift from analog to digital: take music playback, where the average millennial could remember recording songs from the radio, then burning CDs and then blue-tooth music files from one phone to another. For Generation Z, music has always been consumed and shared digitally.
And the same goes for many things, from photography to maps to birthday invitations.
Generation Z is the first generation for whom the extraordinary technological advances of the last 20th century are just a normal part of life.
They will undoubtedly see the same big changes in technology in their adult lives that baby boomers, Generation X and millennials have seen in theirs, but with their early experiences, Generation Z may well be better able to adapt and cope.
We have the great challenge of promoting and fostering a meeting of generations. Not a clash between them.
That is what brands, companies or organizations must understand.
Brands are communicating with Generation Z in different ways.
To connect with Generation Z consumers, companies must create an authentic and transparent brand identity that aligns with the values of this demographic.
Generation Z only buys from brands they believe in.
These are some of the most valued aspects of brands by Generation Z:
Authenticity: Gen Z values authenticity and transparency in brands. They want to see brands that are genuine, that they can identify with and that have a purpose beyond profit.
Personalization: Gen Z expects personalized experiences from brands. Brands should understand their individual needs and preferences and offer them tailored solutions.
Diversity and inclusion: Gen Z is committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable world, and they clearly express their beliefs and values. As one of the most populous generations, Gen Z is the most diverse generation in history, and they expect brands to reflect that diversity.
Visual communication: Gen Z is a visual generation, and brands that use visual content such as images, videos and infographics can capture their attention.
Social Media: Gen Z is the first generation that has grown up with social media as an integral part of their daily lives. Brands use platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat to reach and engage with this audience.
In summary, Gen Z’s relationship with branding is complex, but companies that prioritize authenticity, transparency, personalization, great design and diversity in their branding efforts are more likely to succeed.
They are also much less likely to own a car or know how to drive one. But in the other direction, Generation Z’s awareness of the Internet and their privacy means that even as young teens, they are thinking about what they are saying and how they are saying it, and even working to establish a personal brand online.
Generation Z may have it relatively tough compared to some of their predecessors, but their strong sense of their own identity and determination to succeed should help them.
Some adults at TOTEM Branding believe that young people are wrong. And we don’t stop to think that maybe the world we are heading to is very different from the one we imagine.
And that maybe Generation Z will be more right about the future than we are. Time will tell.
Design source: Morning Consult “Generation Z’s favorite brands in 2022”.