Long before the term “influencer” was created, young people played that social role through developing and translating trends. Now a new group of influencers has come into the market. Members of Gen Z — loosely, individuals who were born between 1995 and 2010 — are true digital natives. From their earliest youth, they have been exposed to the internet, social networks as well as to mobile systems.
That context has developed a hypercognitive generation who are very comfortable with collecting and cross-referencing many fonts of information and with integrating virtual and offline experiences in terms of how they interact with brands.
As global connectivity grows in leaps and bounds, generational shifts could come to play a more important role in setting behaviour than socioeconomic differences do. Young people have become a powerful influence on people of all ages and incomes, as well as on the way that those people consume and relate to brands.
Three Characteristics That Separate Gen Zers From Previous Generations
- Gen Zers are both practical and sceptical. Their focus is on quality and authenticity—not on marketing hype. After all, Gen Zers are growing up in an era when “alternative facts” has become a newsworthy phrase. Their familiarity with technology means that they are not easily fooled.
- One size does certainly not fit all. On the surface, Gen Z is seen as a connected community who have similar habits, however technology has given Gen Zers a vehicle to interrelate with brands on their own terms. The flexibility and speed with which GenZ cycles through media platforms and apps possibly make them far more difficult to target.
- Technology has turned Gen Zers into brand enthusiasts, however not all show the same level of enthusiasm. They are far less likely – as opposed to other generations – to be brand loyal as defined traditionally. If brands are slow to engage or do not keep their promises, then Gen Zers will quickly go to a competitor.
How To Target Gen Z
Define Strong Values & Mission
Prior to marketing to Gen Z, it’s crucial for your brand to have its values and mission firmly established. However why does this matter to marketers? Gen Zers are far more inclined to vote with their money. They believe a brand’s values are a reflection of their own.
Some topics which matter to Gen Z include:
- LGBTQ+ rights: 60% of Gen Zers are of the belief that same-sex couples should be able to adopt children.
- Diversity: 60% of Gen Zers feel that increased racial and ethnic diversity is good for society.
- Social responsibility: 70% of Gen Zers try to buy from companies they consider ethical.
Cotton Onto Their Love For Influencers
Gen Z know that when they view an influencer’s review on a make-up brush or a new gadget that they’ve been given it for free or paid for their time. However, they also appreciate the honest review which supports it.
Advertising just tries to convince us that a product is the best choice but a good influencer provides a middle ground where they point out both pros and cons, so giving people the opportunity to make up their mind.
While influencers may not be correct for every brand, brands that can work with influencers that appeal to Gen Z are likely to see engagement increase and could even encourage people into the top of the funnel.
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