Who is Generation Z?

Plenty of debate abounds about when the Gen Z kids have been born. Some insist this generation begins with those born in the mid-1990’s, but the American Marketing Association has determined Generation Z begins with anyone born after 9/11/2001, since America’s whole world vision changed at that point. Since this article is focused on marketing, we’ll go with that.

In short, they are today’s kids. Yes, they have their own phones. They probably know how to use them better than you do, too. Because of that, they are super-aware of the apps and websites that everyone is using. Their whole lives are pretty much online. That will affect how and where you market to these kids.

Why Are We Marketing to Kids?

According to the definition we have accepted above, the oldest members of Generation Z are about 16 years old. Yes, they are kids by any standard of measurement, even though some can drive cars now. But… Kids today are really different than their parents’ generation.

Thanks to the media, kids can easily see what everyone else in their class has and “needs.” Either by their own means or through suggestions to parents, Gen Zers are responsible for over 40% of commercial spending.

How Do We Market to Kids?

When you tell your brand story to this population, appeal to these qualities in your marketing:

            -Quick Communication

These kids live by instant gratification. If their friend does not answer a text from them immediately, they wonder why that person does not like them anymore. If what you have is not available to them now, they will never remember to come back. When you tell your story, make sure you include all social media links (especially their favorites—Instagram and SnapChat) to your brand so that updates will pop up in front of them at the best time… immediately.

            – Risk-Aversion

Believe it or not, studies have shown this generation to be more conservative in terms of risk than previous generations. Mountain Dew commercials of years past, showing cliff jumpers and mountain climbers would make today’s kids turn off the TV. Don’t expect racy advertising or extreme claims to win them over.

            – Independence

Generation Z kids have a desire to be independent. They have watched their parents struggle financially after the Great Recession of 2007. There’s not a lot of bandwagon jumping here. Generation Z doesn’t care what everyone else is doing. They will do their own thing. Do not use peer pressure in your marketing with them. Be sincere with your story. They will admire you for it.

            – Monetarily Conservative

Simply put, these kids are cheapskates. Looking ahead to college and other outrageously expensive endeavors, these kids do not part with a dollar easily. Whatever you are trying to sell them better be a good value for the money they spend. Your story should underline your appreciation of value.

Kids in Generation Z are generally very mature. They will listen to what’s important. When you reach out to them, you don’t need bells and whistles to get their attention. Tell them about your product and brand honestly, and they will respect you for it.

Need some help shaping your story for Generation Z? We’re here for you.