By Katherine Williams
Understanding the values that Gen Z cares about is the first key to unlocking this young generation’s potential as consumers and loyal brand followers. Gen Z is a deeply discerning generation, and they want to make sure that brands are trustworthy and authentic before spending their money on a brand’s product. If you’re hoping to learn more about how brands can cultivate trust from and build credibility among Gen Z, here are a few insights into the minds of Gen Z youth.
Most importantly, Gen Z is a fan of brands that align with their social values, including environmental sustainability, feminism, and LGBT+ acceptance. Brands that make it clear they support these causes, whether that be through donating a portion of their profits to charity or establishing ethical production practices, are far more likely to gain the admiration and purchasing power of Gen Z. It takes visible steps toward equality for a brand to gain Gen Z trust; for instance, 77% of Gen Z report that they feel more positively toward a brand when they promote equality on their social media channels.
Members of Gen Z also want to see that their generation and peers are being reflected in the businesses they support. 61% of Gen Z report that they base purchasing decisions off of their peers, meaning that establishing a community of young consumers is essential for growing your business’s influence among Gen Z. This could also mean collaborating with Gen Z directly, whether that be in the form of user-generated content or influencer marketing.
Gen Z also wants brands to feel authentic and person-driven. Corporate marketing communications and unappealing ad campaigns aren’t going to draw in Gen-Z consumers, who often associate a trendy aesthetic with brand credibility. Ensuring that your company sounds and looks in touch with Gen-Z culture will definitely help in gaining Gen-Z trust. Gen Z is drawn to marketing strategies that connect them directly with a brand and the people behind it.
With over $143 billion in spending power in the U.S. alone, Gen Z is a key consumer demographic to understand. And because Gen Z is constantly immersed in the world of content and media, they are skeptical of modern brands. 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.
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