Commentary

Marketing To Gen Z: Death Of Brand Loyalty?

Characterized as disloyal to brands and highly individualistic, Gen Z is finally coming of age. This means more purchasing power is putting them on the radar of brands vying to lock them in as customers. 

Members of Gen Z, said to be born roughly between 1996 and 2011, grew up glaring at screens, consuming content at faster rates than previous generations.

Unlike previous generations, members of Gen Z are less inclined to care about brand logos emblazoned on their clothing.

The digital landscape, coupled with a natural change in how young people view the world, has facilitated Gen Z’s tendency for brand disloyalty, but there is still opportunity for marketers to secure them as repeat customers. Consider these tactics:

Hyper-personalize messages. Most consumers nowadays expect brand messages to be tailored to them, but Gen Z expects even more. Not only do they want brands to speak to them in a personal way, but they also want brands to customize communications based on the convergence of many factors. Gen Z expects brands to find them on the channel of choice but also anticipates the message to be delivered at the right moment and right physical place. 

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Gen Zers live on social channels like Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube, so starting communications on these platforms is the best for marketers. But in order to succeed, these messages should be timed appropriately and served up in a manner that is relevant to them. For example, if they are watching a video on YouTube about how to apply makeup or how to play a new video game, the ad messages they receive should be associated with that type of content. 

Ad messages should not be intrusive or excessive, but rather hyper-personalized to avoid ending up on the ad block list. 

Make visual experiences a priority. Gen Z are said to be a highly visual bunch, meaning they generally prefer images and video over text. 

A study by Awesomeness  found that Gen Z views an average of 68 videos per day, meaning they consume more fragmented content and have the capability to easily make sense of it. 

In addition to videos, marketers should consider innovative methods like augmented reality to deliver interactive visual experiences through digital channels like email.

Sell the experience over the product. Customer experiences with a brand are becoming increasingly more important, and this rings true for Gen Z more than any other generation. If the experience brands provide is not appealing or does not show the benefit or outcome of the product, Gen Z will most likely not buy in. For this reason, brands need to get savvy with how they portray products and focus more on selling the experience rather than the product itself. 

Gen Z is here, are you ready?

2 comments about "Marketing To Gen Z: Death Of Brand Loyalty?".
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  1. Daniel Olson from The Loyalty Consultants, February 5, 2019 at 1:47 p.m.

    Vivek,

    Great article, and I couldn't agree with you more. And while focusing on creating and managing great customer experiences works for Gen Z, honestly, it is the best strategy for any generation.

    Brands that are smart are the ones that have shifted their marketing around the customer exoerience, and this is not just UX or events. This is any experience that a customer has from a YouTube Video, to a post, to a in-store experience. Basically any maner in which a customer interacts with a brand is a customer experience that can be made better. And it is as you say, these expereinces when added up, builds a brand loyalty and brand love.


  2. PJ Lehrer from NYU, February 6, 2019 at 2:25 p.m.

    I haven't seen any research indicating that Gen Z is less loyal to brands than previous generations.  Can you please share your source for this data?
    Thanks

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