If you’re a business owner and you’re not yet jumping onto the Generation Z bandwagon, you might want to reconsider. Made up of 84.7 million kids born between 1996 and 2010, there is no doubt that this generation has and will have enormous spending power, and it’s vital for businesses to figure out how to better serve this high-spending demographic.
As the owner of a business tailor-made for younger generations, I’ve spent years researching this demographic in order to understand it. Here are my tips on how to make sure you’re getting in on the action.
Traditional Advertising Is Not Enough
We’ve seen that Generation Z rejects anything that even remotely smells like traditional advertising. Unlike kids today, most of us grew up on Saturday morning cartoons with regular commercial breaks. But Generation Z is different. As cord-cutters, they’re not as comfortable with traditional advertising, so when they come across it, they’re quickly turned off.
You have to meet your audience where they are. They’ll rarely make the effort to come to you, and if they do, they’ll resent you for it (say goodbye to loyalty).
Generation Z lives on social media, especially Snapchat and Instagram. Focused marketing efforts on building engaging, interesting, and fun social media channels will lead to brand loyalty, a strong audience, and increased sales. And isn’t that the whole point of marketing?
Make a steady stream of high-quality social content for your followers and foster a sense of community. Meet Gen Z on their channels and give them content that gets them interested and sharing. They’re looking to interact with their favorite brands, so give them the opportunity and material to do so.
Help Them Help You
Generation Z is the most tech-savvy generation ever. Seventy-six percent of them are using smartphones and they are content creators.
If you do it right, they’ll want to create their own content alongside yours. To assess your Gen Z friendliness, ask yourself a few simple questions:
If you can’t answer “yes” to at least one of these questions, it’s time to rethink your approach to reaching Gen Z. Remember, they want to create content alongside yours.
Your Brand Must Combine the Physical and Digital World
Let’s say a donut shop has a simple, boring exterior. Really nothing to write home about. But what if the exterior had a cool, interactive mural or a giant donut that someone could take a picture with? Gen Z isn’t just creating content for their own memories, they’re creating it to share with their network. When you create a shareable experience, your customers become advocates who do the advertising legwork for you.
Lego Fusion is a great example. Made for kids, it allows them to build virtual playgrounds with Lego bricks in the real world. Kids can put together a Lego structure that can be scanned and duplicated in the virtual world.
Create Easily Shareable Memories
Business owners should also try to provide every customer with a memorable experience. For example, we own and operate extreme recreation facilities around the world. If our end goal was to simply get people in the door and play on ninja warrior obstacle courses and in foam pits, we wouldn’t be ahead of the game. We make sure they have an experience that’s so good (think unique graffiti murals, colors and music, and individual stylized branding), they’ll share photos and videos with their friends while they’re at the park.
And remember, it’s nearly impossible to separate kids from their phones. If your product and/or services are such that kids want to capture the magic, you’re doing it right. When I see kids filming Snapchat videos or posting photos on Instagram, it confirms that we’re providing real-life experiences that are so good that they can be shared virtually with everyone who will pay attention.
Don’t just stop at finding ways to engage Generation Z. Before you know it a new demographic will come of age and you’ll need to be quick and agile when developing your next marketing strategy. Who knows what’s just over the horizon?