Thursday, 27 August 2015

Marketing to Generation Z

Who exactly is Generation Z you ask? Up until a few weeks ago I didn’t know they existed either! The world has just got to grips with the term “Millennial” when along came Generation Y to supersede them.  Now we have an even younger category of consumers with a new buzzword to define them.

Although loosely defined, Generation Z are generally considered to have been born between mid-1990s to the early to mid 2000s. This puts the oldest of the generation in their mid twenties with the youngest in their early teenage years. But what really define this group are the characteristics that set them apart from their predecessors.

Generation Z are the most connected generation to have ever existed.  They are also the most highly educated to boot. The generation have become early adopters of new products and strong brand advocates. They are influential, particularly on social media and where they are leaders of popular culture. That being said, Generation Z lack brand loyalty with products attributes being more important than the brand itself. They are considered to be minimalists but will spend time seeking our products and services that are unique.

This new generation were born into a global financial crisis, threats of terrorism and a changing climate. They are living in a period of significant change and are expected to lead change going forward. Where Generation Y were considered to be passive, Generation Z are considered to be more active, progressive and even more socially conscious. They are ambitious and eager to make a positive impact on the world around them.


They have also grown up in a generation of Facebook, YouTube and Google, which makes them tech savvy digital natives. Social media is a fantastic way to connect with this audience through campaigns that are both honest and transparent. Successful brands will need to show they care about this generation by fully understanding their needs to garner their attention. This means connecting via multiple platforms in new and creative ways.

The brands that are able to express their personality in interesting and fun ways will be the most likely to catch the attention of Generation Z. Particularly brands that are able to get behind the social causes that really matter to this generation.  This has to be more than just on a superficial level to make deep and meaningful connections with these consumers with messages that break through the clutter.

It is important to take notice of this new generation of consumers who account for approximately 2 billion people globally. The key challenge for marketers is to find meaningful ways to connect with this generation who are considered more complex and cynical than previous generations.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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