By Katherine Williams
With over $143 billion in spending power in the U.S. alone, Gen Z is a key consumer demographic to understand. But rather than grouping them with millennials, their older counterparts, brands need to take a close look at what kind of branding strategies can help engage Gen Z. Here are a few important insights about Generation-Z branding.
First, Gen-Z consumers have grown up with aesthetic-driven social media apps like Instagram, Pinterest, VSCO, and Snapchat. Gen Z is driven by visual appeal, making graphic design an integral part of their view of a brand. Having a specific aesthetic for your brand’s social media feed says to Gen-Z users that your brand is trendy and enticing. Because Gen Z relies on social media for their shopping experience, your visual brand is key to connecting with Gen Z.
Gen-Z consumers are drawn to companies that are visibly committed to ethical production and social justice. Because Gen Z is a progressive and politically active generation, they want those values to be reflected in the brands they support. Branding that focuses on, for example, sustainable production practices or concepts like 1% For The Planet is especially effective with Gen-Z consumers because this shows that your brand is aligned with Gen-Z values.
With that in mind, Gen Z wants to feel like they can trust the brands to which they are giving their money. Authenticity is extremely important to members of Gen Z, with 82% saying they trust a company more if it uses images of real customers in its advertising. Brands like Parade and Glossier are popular with Gen Z because their social media feeds all highlight real, young, diverse customers using their products. Add a beautiful color scheme, and Gen Z is addicted.
What makes these brands successful is also their person-driven branding. Not only does their marketing strategy primarily source content from micro-influencers and average customers, but they have founder stories and regularly share behind-the-scenes content. Gen Z wants to see that a brand is made up of real people, preferring that over the impersonality of a huge fast fashion chain.
Gen Z has grown up in an era of fake news, so they scrutinize brands’ mission and values before deciding to hit “purchase.” Gen-Z branding should combine social media and social justice in an authentic, creative, and unique way in order to best reach Gen-Z consumers.
Adolescent Content, a global marketing agency run by Gen Z for Gen Z, can help tailor your marketing strategies to attract your target consumers.