The Millennials, or Gen Y, are the generation of people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s also known as the “Peter Pan” or “Boomerang Generation”, mainly due to their ability to move back home with their parents as a way of avoiding pending adulthood. Millennials have been the subject of fascination for businesses and marketers for years, however, their time in the limelight may soon be coming to an end with the rise of the Centennials, otherwise known as Gen Z.
Gen Z is made up of young adults born in the year 1995 onwards, and have never known the world without the Internet. By the time they could walk and talk, they could play with smartphones and by the time high school came around, Facebook was a staple part of everyone’s social diet. Considering the world that Gen Z grew up in, it is no surprise that this generation is always online which is a great opportunity for businesses and marketers. Also, they are reaching the time in their lives when they have more disposable income and less responsibilities than their older Gen Y siblings, who are now settling down and starting families.
So how can your brand reach and engage this exciting new generation?
First of all, forget all your strategies for dealing with Gen Y. Gen Z is an entirely different type of generation that despises living in its sibling’s shadow.
Where Can You Find Gen Z?
Consider your messaging and channels wisely and look at data and reports to understand where your Gen Z consumers are playing online. Is Instagram branding campaign or a YouTube Pre-Roll video advertising campaign going to be more valuable for your brand? Perhaps Snapchat stories will drive more visits to your website than Facebook? Are they even on Facebook? These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself when developing your Gen Z strategy.
What Are They Like?
Due to Gen Z’s desire to be different and unpredictable, they tend to stray away from traditions. This makes them a difficult group to please. They can be quite cynical, yet they have aspirations to make a difference in the world. They also love to hear a good story. With these factors in mind, it seems that Gen Z will enjoy a brand story that inspires some change in the world to capture their attention. There are also opportunities to bring on Gen Z’ers to become brand ambassadors for your brand from an early age, securing their loyalty and offering them an opportunity to grow with your brand. Including them in your company through blogging opportunities will make them feel dedicated to your mission, and that is a statement that can last a long time.
Desire to Make an Impact on the World
Generation Z has a big heart in terms of the different causes, it supports and will seek to find out if your company has philanthropic initiatives as a part of your company culture. If you don’t already have a good social strategy, it is time to start building one if you want Generation Z to dedicate time to you. As well as having a humanitarian effort, it is important to report and open about your effort so the Gen Z can see its impacts. This may be in the form of a blog or a YouTube channel, depending on where your Gen Z audience spends time.
Drive those Reviews
Gen Z cares about quality and will research and check the reviews of everything they consider purchasing. This means you need to get those Google + reviews, those Yelp reviews and that Facebook support sooner rather than later showing the quality of the product or service you wish to sell to this generation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexander Rauser, Chief Executive Officer, Prototype
Alexander Rauser has more than 15 years of digital media experience successfully leading companies through innovation, focus and execution. He has a strong creative and technology background that spans across online and offline media.
After working for several creative agencies in Germany as well as leading the design and digital operations for a German record label, Alexander ventured to the UAE in 2005 to build his portfolio across the Middle East.
In 2010, Alexander fulfilled his ambition and founded a strategic digital agency: Prototype Interactive. Today Prototype involves a group of professionals focused on thought leadership, innovation, and exacting tactical execution in a modern digital advertising agency environment.
Prototype now works with reputable brands from different industries across the region on web design, mobile apps, social media, digital strategy and content management.