Baby Boomers. Millennials. Gen Z’ers. It seems that each decade brings about a whole new set of expectations from consumers, dependent on what generation they call home.
Why is this? Generally speaking, people sharing the same generation also share similar behavioral trends. This is often dictated by economic conditions, current events, and social topics that affect a group’s mentality and affects multiple members at once. With this in mind, marketing to each individual generation presents unique sets of challenges. Because of the differences between each generation, the marketing strategy must also shift and adjust accordingly.
Now, Generation Z is beginning to draw more focus from brands. Members of Generation Z were born after those in the millennial generation, between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s.
These young consumers are predicted to have direct spending power numbering in the billions in the coming years. For this reason, marketers are beginning to pay attention now, even though these consumers are still quite young. Building relationships and loyalty with the Gen Z’er will be profitable for brands who are successful in this process early on.
So how is this to be accomplished? At their oldest, members of Generation Z are in their early 20s, meaning they’re just coming into their own as adult consumers.
What matters to Gen Z’ers? According to some research, many members of this young generation value authenticity and accountability when it comes to creating trusting consumer relationships.
Brands can achieve this by operating with transparency and full disclosure. Owning up to mistakes can go a long way for a young consumer. The same can be said for creating expectations. False or misleading advertising is a surefire way to alienate customers of any generation.
Marketing to Gen Z’ers should also be heavily reliant on social media. And this does not simply mean Facebook. After all, many older generations are on Facebook, but younger generations don’t seem to favor it as much as other platforms such as SnapChat or Instagram.
Marketing professionals should familiarize themselves with marketing tactics on social media platforms popular with the members of younger generations.
When marketing to younger generations, keep the long game in mind. These consumers still have some growing up to do. How can a brand create a long-lasting relationship with these individuals?
This can take some legwork, but as the buying power for Generation Z continues to inflate, brands will want to have a foot in the door already.
Adjusting a marketing strategy to fit the needs of multiple generations presents challenges, but they are far from insurmountable. Instead, this simply requires a bit of strategy, and a clear strategy for exactly which consumers a brand intends to target.
And not every brand will have a need to market to every single generation. But generally speaking, having a way to reach consumers from multiple age groups can help ensure the longevity of the brand.
Having a clear idea of what type of messaging resonates with each generation, what platform or platforms they prefer to receive this messaging on, and what core values matter the most and spark emotion will help brands market to any generation.