The ‘why’ is more important than the ‘what’
It would be easy to label the newest generation about to begin entering the workforce, Generation Z, as an exaggerated version of the generation that came before them.
After all, numerous studies have shown that they spend more time online and on social media and do even more of their shopping online than millennials but in reality their beliefs and views on brands are in stark contrast to those that came before them.
While millennials invented the social media behemoths that are Facebook and Instagram and made the transition from satellite TV to online offerings like Netflix, Generation Z knows no world where these “basic necessities of life” don’t exist. Millennials came of age during a time of economic growth, and were disheartened to find an unwelcoming job market after university – Generation Z have rather been shaped and moulded by the increasing cost of living in New Zealand’s major cities which hold the career opportunities that regional New Zealand lacks, and are determined to create the stable future that the generation before them have arguably struggled to achieve.
In many ways Generation Z have more in common with those that entered the workforce after The Great Depression of the 20’s and 30’s so as they begin to enter todays workforce how is your brand placed to speak with them? Are you ready to convince them that they should listen to you?
Here are three quick tips to keep top of mind when crafting strategies that centre on them.
Insight: Gen Z are more financially cautious than any generation before them.
Solution: Well, why not offer choices.
Tiered offerings with opt-in extras allow Gen Z’ers to purchase only what they need. They then feel in control of their decision-making and don’t feel like they are paying for things they don’t need. Examples of this working exceptionally well include airlines offering seat only fares with opt-in luggage and meal services allowing a younger generation to experience more while paying less.
Insight: Gen Z see right through tenuous brand advocates and paid associations.
Solution: Link up with people who actually like and use your product or service.
Brands can longer hide behind big budget ads shouting from the rooftops that they have the best product with the most features and Gen Z refuse to be walking billboards for such big companies.
Find on target real-world advocates, influencers and individuals (read: civilians!) who already use your products and can create authentic and believable content with your key selling points to their already captive audience.
Insight: Gen Z are value focused, spend less and value social responsibility.
Solution: Talk and walk in exactly the same manner.
It is no longer good enough to say one thing and act in a totally disparate way. With an abundance of information available at Gen Z’s fingertips, transparency and openness are more important than ever.
Think about why we would purchase an iPod from Apple but won’t buy an mp3 player from Dell when both are respected, large computer companies touting great technology and large budgets?
It’s all about trust. And more than ever Gen Zers will relate better to a brand with an open communication strategy (think tweeting a big telco and having a human tweet you back!), and building a presence and cache around your key people (if you need help here – call us!).