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Millennials are being replaced by Generation Z, the new market every brand wants a piece of

Posted on Fri 3rd Aug, 2018 in: Generation Z, Insight by Katie Wadsworth

Millennials are never far from the headlines. They’re the generation that everyone loves to talk about and pick apart. But more recently it’s the younger siblings of the avocado-toting age-group who have hit the national headlines, but for very different reasons.

Generation Z has been branded the ‘sensible’ generation. According to a recent report by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, they’re more likely to be spending time at home with family than tearing around town or fraternising with one another. How true this is remains to be seen, but it does pose an interesting question for brands. How do you reach the ever-sensible teens?

Anyone born from 1995 onwards is broadly considered to be Gen Z, so is generally anyone from 23-year-olds and below. It’s worth remembering that this is the first generation to be born with the internet widely available to them and they’ve been using social media and smartphones from a young age, so technology is second nature.

Research also suggests that the post-millennials only have an 8 second attention span. This poses an interesting challenge for marketers. Key messages need to be delivered quickly and in an interesting way which is going to grab their attention, otherwise they’ll have already moved on to the next thing.

The social platforms they use also highlight this desire for bite-size information, with video platform YouTube (79%) ranking as the most popular channel. Facebook also has a strong hold with Gen Z (78%). Instagram (69%) and Snapchat (68%) have a solid following and Twitter completes the top five channels, but only (49%) of those surveyed use the platform.*

This is also the generation of the new-wave activist and Generation Z consumers want to buy from authentic, ethical brands so they feel like they’re making a positive change to the world – whether it’s environmentally, politically or socially. Identifying as feminist, vegan or gender fluid is not exclusive to this generation, but most Gen Zers would agree with these identifiers – although, as whole, they don’t like being ‘labelled’. They are the forward-thinking age-group who have always had a social platform for their views and firmly believe that their voice matters.

All of these things mean that while they’re a hard group to engage, once a brand does so effectively, they’re loyal consumers. 

Who’s doing it well?

Everyone’s favourite online marketplace, ASOS, is leading from the front when it comes to marketing to Gen Z. The company is using its target audience’s love of Snapchat to engage potential customers, offering a back-stage pass to the brand’s photoshoots, new products and event discount codes to those who follow them on the platform.  

While they may not be capturing much data from their audience, the company reports strong levels of engagement from Snapchat users.

Three key takeaways for targeting Gen Z:

  • Keep it short – they only have an 8 second attention span so make sure your message is clear
  • Be responsible – Gen Z want to use products and work with brands which align with their values
  • Don’t exclude – the post-millennial audience want to see marketing campaigns which represent the many, not the few

At Aberfield, we believe an audience first approach is the only way forward. You need to know who you’re talking to and what they want to hear, in order to have the biggest impact. If you want to find out more about what we do, get in touch.

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