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3 ways for your brand to better engage Gen Z

Michelle Liang

April 28, 2021

ita group

Just a few years ago, millennials were the hottest and most talked about the generational cohort who are driving consumer behavior and value trends in the market. As millennials move on to a new life stage, Generation Z (Gen Z) consumers are increasingly attracting brands’ attention. As you would expect, this generation behaves differently from the generations before and have their own set of attitudes and behavioral patterns.

 

The oldest of the Gen Zs are now 25 years old and in the workforce, while the rest of the generation will be joining them in a few years. This means the spending power of Gen Z is rising, and while it may be challenging to rethink about how you can resonate with Gen Z consumers, they do represent new opportunities for businesses.

 

This article will discuss trends of Gen Z that we have identified, and three ways you can better engage them.

 

1.    They put their money where their values are — so align your brand mission with Gen Z

Gen Z consumers care more about the brand story and values than the product or service itself. According to McKinsey & Company, 58% of those surveyed said that they are willing to pay more for products and services that highlight their individual personalities because they consider brands to be able to represent themselves and their values. They rely more on the “concept” of what your product can bring to them, and tend to be attracted by your brand persona and unique value proposition.

 

This means you now have to sell the “why” of your brand. Identify your Gen Z customer segment, figure out their personal values and beliefs, build an appealing brand story that aligns and resonates with their values, and be open about what it stands for. For members of Gen Z and millennials in North America and Europe, brand values can have a positive impact on brand discovery and advocacy (Figure1). But bear in mind that your brand story should align with your values and products you offer. After all, Gen Z value authenticity, and brand consistency helps to build trust with them.

Figure 1. Survey conducted by Facebook on how likely a brand’s post detailing its value would help consumers discover a brand
Source:
Facebook for Business

For example, second-hand fashion retailers like thredUP and peer-to-peer online shopping platforms like Poshmark and Depop continue to gain popularity because they embrace and embody the trends of rejection of fast fashion and increased desire for second-hand fashion among Gen Z.

thredUP Story
Source: thredUP

2.      They are true digital natives — so reach them by social media

After creating a brand story that reflects your mission, you need to find suitable channels to convey your messages. According to Hootsuite’s report, a whopping 85% of Gen Z consumers use social media to discover new brands and products. In addition,they are 59% more likely to follow a brand’s social media account than any other age group. For brands looking to tap the Gen Z market, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram are the places where you must go. However, the social media content has to fit your brand and your purpose. Collaborating with TikTok influencers, sharing content by using a hashtag, as well as crossovers with other popular brands among Gen Z are all good ways of generating greater brand awareness with this demographic.

 

In order to build a long-lasting brand, traditional brands have also started to transform themselves and increase their presence on social media. Honeymoon Dessert, a traditional dessert brand founded in Hong Kong in 1995, is one such example. With most of its consumers belonging to the older generation,Honeymoon Dessert set its sights on the younger demographic and designed it sown IP in the form of a rabbit mascot named “Man Man” (“满满”). The mascot was brought it to life through a Weibo account with posts about its daily life tasting different desserts and attending campaigns. In addition, they also invite influencers to hold regular livestreams on Taobao to introduce their new products, generating positive exposure with the younger demographic.

Honeymoon Dessert’s IP featuring
“Man Man” (“
满满”)

 

Livestream with influencers on Taobao

3.    They love engagement — so connect with them and make them your brand influencers

After you have connected with Gen Zs and resonated with them with your unique value proposition, you need to transform them into your best influencers and advocates. Gen Zs love engagement and participation, and they don’t want to simply listen to your brand story, they want to participate and experience a sense of belonging. As heavy consumers of digital media, they are easily influenced by influencers. However, they play a large role in influencing peers with their own content as well. This cyclical consumption and generation of social media content is key for companies seeking to position themselves strategically with Gen Z. A survey from SocialChorus found that 91%of Gen Z trust friends for product recommendations. Creating a community for fans’ connection, providing personalized products, and getting their feedback are all good ways to engage them.

 

Conclusion

Every new generation of consumers involves transforming your brand strategy and marketing tactics for continued growth. You need to not only understand what consumers do and how they do it, but also why they do it, enabling you to accurately position your brand and determine the right price for your product. Our recommendation is to reach Gen Z with a 3-step process:

1.      Create a unique brand value proposition that can align with Gen Z

2.      Increase your exposure on social media

3.      Make good use of Gen Z being your best influencers by constantly engaging with them

 

Ready to engage with Gen Z? If you need help, get in touch with Binomial and we can help you figure out how to make them your best customers.

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