Gen Z has had a huge influence on pop culture over the past couple of years. Even despite the Millenials beating out Gen Z in size (there are 72.1 million Millennials compared to 67.1 million Gen Zers), it seems like Gen Z still holds the power to decide what is trending. This is largely in part to social media, especially Tik Tok, where this generation tends to dominate (if you say you haven’t wasted hours watching Tik Tok content, I don’t believe you). So, if Gen Z has had the power to significantly influence pop culture, how have they influenced brands and marketing?
The Need for A Good Digital Experience
The most prominent way they are influencing marketing is the need for brands to create a quality digital experience. These younger consumers are way more likely to abandon a brand that offers a poor digital experience. The data here speaks for itself. 38 percent of Gen Zers say they will only allow a brand one-second chance to fix a mistake, 74 percent say they will go to another brand if one is out of stock online, and 37 percent say they have decided against a purchase or even posted a negative review just because of a poor online experience.
So, it is pretty clear that younger consumers are pretty cutthroat and don’t value brand loyalty the same way older consumers might have. This means that brands need to make their online experiences top-notch. If you offer shopping through a mobile app, make sure that the load times are fast, it’s easy to navigate, and easy to make a purchase. If you have a website make sure it’s optimized for mobile and has an easy-to-use digital customer service option. Making sure all of the little things work well is the best way to ensure your digital experience is frictionless.
The Need to Expand Channels
If you want to reach younger consumers, you are going to have to do a lot more than just run an email campaign or a post on Facebook. Brands need to expand to the channels where Gen Z is both present and active. Sure, these consumers might have a Facebook, but that doesn’t mean they open the app more than once a month. The social media channels that Gen Z is most prominent on are Snapchat, Youtube, Tik Tok, and Instagram. Expanding onto these channels is a great way to raise brand awareness among young consumers. But, if you are going to do this you need to make sure you understand the social platform and what it is used for. Your ads should blend in with the rest of the photos and videos being shared. You don’t want your content to stick out like a sore thumb.
There is also so much mobile technology at our fingertips these days like Augmented Reality filters on Snapchat, QR codes to easily share on social media, polls to make an Instagram story interactive, and so much more. Adding these extra features into your mobile marketing strategy will help increase engagement.
The Need to do More
Finally, brands all around just need to do more to be engaged in what is going on in the world. The idea of “cancel culture” among Gen Z is very real, and to avoid being “canceled” brands need to show that they are doing something to make the world a better place. It’s not enough to just advertise your product anymore, you also have to show you are taking responsibility and action in the community around you.
And it doesn’t just have to be about social responsibility. It is also effective for brands to simply just show that they understand and care about younger generations. Pacifico is doing that really well in their current digital-first campaign aimed at Gen Z. This campaign features multiple 15 to 30-second spots highlighting different independent personalities that hold values that align with Gen Z. The beer Brand is then airing these spots on streaming platforms that have high Gen Z viewership to make sure younger consumers will see them.
Gen Z has proven to be a pretty influential generation from fashion to social trends, activism, and even in marketing. While Gen Z might not be most brands’ target audience quite yet, it is still important that brands don’t ignore younger consumers and find ways to reach them.