As a part of Generation Z approaches adulthood, brands are rushing to push their message to the new young buying force. Several brands have already managed to gain a foothold into the minds and hearts of this new generation by appealing to them through social media. Some of the more popular  platforms with our generation include Snapchat, Instagram, and Youtube. It’s assumed that most people have an Instagram or a Snapchat. To be honest, almost everyone I know has one. Instagram and Youtube have algorithms designed to show you products that are related to your interests and even past search history, giving advertisers a window into the hearts, minds, and wallets of young consumers.

Who Are You Connected With?

There are a few brands that have hit it big, but you may not want to latch your brand to depending on what kind of audience you’re trying to appeal to. Perception is key, and making sure that potential customers do not have misconceptions about you and your brand is unimaginably important. Take, for example,  Logan and Jake Paul, who constantly put themselves into controversial situations. This paints them in a negative light. Despite all of this, they continue to draw larger audiences from the younger end of Gen Z. During one of Logan’s bigger scandals he didn’t stop gaining subs. Given, his average subscribers joining his channel per day dropped substantially, it quickly rose back to where it was before. What he did lose was advertisers, as brand after brand pulled their money in an effort to distance themselves from controversy.

Another example is YETI and the NRA. YETI wanted to revisit some discounts offered to NRA members but, because of the current climate, consumers took it as a slight to the NRA and began to boycott the brand. Whenever you associate your brand with another brand or a celebrity, it is important to consider the potential reactions from your targeted audience.

Who is Representing You?

A few brands have really hit it big with the younger generation. Nike, for example, is one of only three brands to make it into Instagram’s most followed list, with 76,161,592 followers and gaining 404,000 followers a month. The Nike swoosh is iconic to Generation Z. It also helps that their advertisements feature some of our favorite athletes such as  Ronaldinho, Neymar Jr., and Michael Jordan.

Another brand that has made it big with generation Z is Victoria’s Secret. Teens flock to their fashion line, Pink,  so they can emulate some of their favorite models like Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Kendall Jenner. Victoria’s Secret currently has 58,733,919 followers. Pink itself has a respectable 7,931,793 followers on its own.

Teenagers see and hear celebrities representing brands all the time, and it definitely makes an impact. Gucci has gained notoriety with young people due to several rap songs bragging about owning Gucci clothing. Future and Chance the Rapper are just a couple in a sea of rappers who represent the brand. Athletes frequently show off their shoes pregame on their personal Instagram and Twitter accounts. All NFL jerseys are made by Nike. Basketball players constantly come out with new shoes that bear their own name, and they advertise them on their personal social media. Young people who follow their favorite athletes or musicians on social media are then exposed to these “famous billboards.”

How to Reach Us

Advertising on social media is vital to reaching Generation Z. We spend more time on social media than any other medium. It is important, however, to consider how you are marketing to young people just as much as where you are marketing to them. Making sure that you are connected to the right people and organizations is just as important as the medium that you present your message on.  Marshall McLuhan once said “The medium is the message,” but with Generation Z it’s more “the medium plus the representative is the message.”