Just when you thought you figured out the Millennial generation, here comes Gen Z. Also known as Post-Millennials, Plurals, or the Home Generation, this demographic relies heavily on technology and the Internet for anything and everything. They are the first generation to be born into an Internet world and are likely to communicate through text and social media, more than any other media platform. While there is some debate on what years define this sector, most agree that this generation starts with those born in 1995 and spans approximately 15 years. So, this basically means anyone from recent college graduates to elementary school kids who influence purchase decisions much more than you think! So, how do you connect with them?
As an agency who works closely with many colleges and universities, we focus a lot of time and energy on engagement metrics with high school students (for recruitment materials) and college students (for campus programs). Of course, it is no surprise that digital and mobile reign supreme. Here are a few tips on how to cut through the traditional clutter:
They rarely open traditional mail or email, so you need to reach them in the most natural and organic way. However, we also know they are thrifty and cost-conscious, so they won’t pay the additional fees to make their apps “ad-free” and this presents an ideal environment to get on their radar. The Byne Group has had great success using Pandora to deliver impactful messaging to targeted audiences while they are enjoying their favorite music.
They are not fans of big brands and wearing logos across their chest to show status like some previous generations. In fact, they love creating their own personal brands and making their own mark as seen through the popularity of apps that let everyone create their own “stories” through images and video. A recent recruitment package we developed for a university embraced this notion and allowed potential students to express themselves through an interactive piece that reinforced their unique attributes. Let them be the author and give them the freedom to write their own script.
Talk the Talk
They are not easily swayed by celebrity endorsements. The Internet provides them a wealth of information that demands transparency and they are more likely to trust peer recommendations delivered through social media. So, we learned quickly that you can’t talk “to” them; you need to talk “with” them. Leverage any access you have to this demographic. Whether it is through your office interns or more formalized focus groups on college campuses, their perspective and their insights are invaluable. When tasked with introducing a new program at a local college, The Byne Group hosted focus groups with students and teachers to gain a better understanding of their pain points and test messaging that would resonate with the target audience.
Not relevant to your product or service? While this generation might not be your target audience right now, consider this: Gen Z outnumbers Millennials by 1 million, so they will have a tremendous impact on your bottom line eventually!
These new consumer segments keep us on our toes and we are always up for a new challenge and project. Let us work your brand and reach the audience that matters most to you.