Generation Z is a notoriously difficult and discerning market like none encountered to date. As far as business owners worldwide are concerned, Gen Z seems to exist for no reason other than to scrutinise, speculate and speak their minds with brutal honesty.
Nevertheless, the eldest members of the Gen Z demographic will be turning 22 this year. More importantly, their combined spending power has already exceeded $145 billion. Irrespective of personal feelings and sentiments, Gen Z is a generation you need on your side.
Social Media is Everything
For Gen Z, social media isn’t a communication platform – it’s their life. The average member of this group spends a minimum of three hours per day glued to their online alter-egos, using mobile devices to research anything and everything. They trust their friends and influencers within their niche, but tend to be significantly more cautious – even sceptical – when it comes to businesses.
Particularly large organisations and corporations, which they instinctively distrust quite aggressively.
The question being – what can be done to overcome this rather enormous obstacle?
For a start, transparency and authenticity should be considered mandatory.
Transparency means operating in a manner that enables your customer to see right to the heart of everything you’d do. Rather than simply selling products or services, you need to give them an all-round behind-the-scenes snapshot of your organisation, its history, its priorities, its objectives and its unique value proposition. They need to know who you are, what you do and why you’d do it, before they’ll take any interest in you whatsoever.
As for authenticity, this means avoiding the temptation to fabricate any aspect of your brand’s voice or story. Gen Z can spot frauds from a mile away – faking it just isn’t an option. If your brand’s story, direction and general business model don’t appeal to Gen Z, it might be time to consider sweeping changes.
Inspiration Through the Influence
On the plus side, Gen Z has opened the door to a new era of limitlessly-lucrative influencer marketing. They’re rarely inspired by traditional marketing messages and materials – recommendations from influencers are another story entirely.
In fact, research suggests that Gen Z consumers are 130% more likely to purchase something recommended by an online influencer than a well known celebrity. In addition, almost 80% of Gen Z proactively seek assurances through online reviews and recommendations, before going ahead and making a purchase.
Gen Zers display many similarities to their Millennial cousins, though are significantly more likely to respond positively to social messages from influencers. It’s not that they don’t trust recommendations and promotional messages in general – it’s just that they don’t trust yours.
Hence, the key to winning over Gen Z lies in finding other ways of communicating your messages. The most inspiring and influential of all being via a known influencer from whom a single good word could be all that takes to have them eating out of the palm of your hand.