Marketing to Gen Z: What attracts them to a brand?

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Marcelo Smith

Brand Designer

Marcelo Smith is a brand designer, content creator, and founder of Fun Studio, a brand design agency that helps businesses build powerful brands that stand out and connect with their audience.

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Table of Contents

Marketing to Gen Z: What Attracts Them to a Brand?
Marketing to Gen Z: What Attracts Them to a Brand?

Table of Contents

They’re digital natives, social media masters, and the most diverse generation yet. We’re talking about Gen Z, the population born between mid-1990s and early 2010s, and they’re now entering prime buying power. With an estimated spending power of $143 billion in the US alone, understanding what attracts them to a brand is no longer optional, it’s crucial.

This blog is your decoder ring, cracking the code of what makes Gen Z tick when it comes to brands. We’ll delve into their unique preferences, values, and buying habits, helping you unlock the secrets to building connections and loyalty with this influential generation.

What Are Gen Z’s Behavioral Trends As Consumers?

Gen Z, also known as the iGeneration, is a generation born between 1997 and 2012, and they are currently the largest consumer group. Gen Z consumers expect top-notch customer service and top-quality products when they shop. That’s what defines how they behave as customers. Gen Z likes personalized shopping and prefers brands that share their values. They want unique experiences and connect with brands they believe in.

McKinsey found that Gen Z really looks for truth and honesty, and they want brands to be real and open with them. Gen Z often researches and compares products before buying and doesn’t trust traditional ads much. They prefer word-of-mouth and online reviews to decide what to buy.

Gen Z is also known for their love of travel, with many prioritizing saving money to fund their travel experiences. They are more likely to seek out experiences over material possessions and are often more environmentally conscious than previous generations.

In terms of anxiety, Gen Z is prone to anxiety, which can impact their spending habits. They may be more likely to save money and avoid debt, as they are aware of the financial challenges that can arise from overspending.

Overall, Gen Z consumers are tech-savvy, value authenticity and transparency, and prioritize experiences over material possessions. Brands that align with these values and offer personalized shopping experiences are more likely to succeed in reaching this generation.

What Attracts Gen Z to a Brand: 10 Marketing Strategies

Reaching Gen Z, the generation born between the late 1990s and early 2010s, requires a strategic shift. Unlike previous generations, Gen Z is hyper-connected, socially conscious, and acutely aware of inauthentic marketing tactics.

So, how do you grab their attention and build genuine connections? Here are 10 strategies that resonate with this unique demographic:

1. Be Real, Be You: Embrace Authenticity

Gen Z craves authenticity. They can sniff out a fake from a mile away. Ditch the overly polished marketing and showcase the real people behind your brand. Share your company’s story, struggles, and triumphs. Let your employees shine through user-generated content or behind-the-scenes glimpses.

Tip: Feature employee takeovers on social media, host live Q&A sessions with your team, or share stories about your company’s journey.

2. Champion a Cause: Stand for Something Bigger

People donating food

Image via Freepik

Gen Z is passionate about making a difference in the world. They align with brands that share their values and actively contribute to positive change. Support social causes that your company truly cares about. This could include things like environmental sustainability, social justice, or mental health awareness.
Tip: Partner with relevant nonprofits, donate a portion of your profits to a cause, or amplify the voices of changemakers.

3. Speak Their Language: Authentic Communication

Gen Z doesn’t like fancy words or fake stuff. They like it when things are simple, clear, and true. Talk to them like you would a friend, using a casual and relatable tone that resonates with their interests and humor.

Tip: Avoid industry jargon, use humor organically, and tailor your content to different social media platforms.

4. Mobile-First Mindset: Where They Live

Gen Z with their smartphones

Image via Freepik

Gen Z practically lives on their phones. Ensure your brand is accessible and engaging on mobile devices. Have a user-friendly website, optimize your content for mobile viewing, and leverage mobile-first platforms like Instagram Stories, TikTok or Youtube. Tip: Invest in responsive web design, create short-form video content, and utilize interactive features like polls and quizzes.

5. Short Attention Spans: Bite-Sized Content is King

Gen Z’s attention spans are shorter than ever. Capture their interest with concise, visually-appealing content. Utilize short-form videos, infographics, memes, and interactive elements to deliver your message quickly and effectively.

Tip:How can you market to Gen Z effectively? Keep videos short, under 60 seconds, and use clear visuals and messages. Try out popular trends like TikTok challenges to see what works best.

6. Embrace the Power of Creators: Partner with Micro-Influencers

Influencer Marketing

Image via Freepik

Forget celebrity endorsements. Gen Z trusts the recommendations of people they feel connected to, like micro-influencers. Partner with creators who share your brand values and resonate with your target audience. Tip: Find micro-influencers who are authentic, have a strong engagement rate, and align with your brand’s message.

7. Gamify the Experience: Make it Fun and Interactive

Gen Z thrives on engagement and interaction. Gamify your marketing efforts by incorporating contests, polls, quizzes, and interactive experiences. This not only captures their attention but also allows you to collect valuable insights and build stronger relationships.

Tip: Host social media contests, create interactive quizzes, or develop AR/VR experiences to engage your audience.

8. Transparency is Key: Be Open and Honest

Photo of black woman holding her hone appear to be reading reviews of a product

Image via Freepik

Gen Z values transparency. Be upfront about your products, services, and any potential drawbacks. Address concerns promptly and honestly. This builds trust and fosters a sense of community. Tip: Respond quickly to comments and messages. When handling negative feedback, try to be helpful and learn from it. Always be clear about how your brand operates.

9. Empower User-Generated Content: Give Them a Voice

Gen Z thrives on self-expression and sharing their experiences. Encourage users to create content by hosting contests and featuring their stories. Create platforms where they can share their experiences with your brand.

Tip: To attract Gen Z, try running hashtag contests and featuring user-generated content on your website and social media. Also, hosting social media takeovers can boost engagement with this demographic.

10. Embrace Constant Evolution: Stay Agile and Adaptable

Brainstorming Marketing Ideas for Gen-Z with Post-its

Image via Unsplash

The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and Gen Z is at the forefront of these changes. Stay updated on the latest trends, adapt your strategies accordingly, and be open to experimentation. Tip: Monitor social media trends, listen to your audience, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Remember, building genuine connections with Gen Z requires a shift in mindset. To connect with Gen Z, focus on being genuine, caring about social issues, and creating exciting interactions. These efforts can help build a strong bond with this important generation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do brands target Gen Z?

Generation Z is a group known for caring about social and political issues, and they like brands to be genuine. Brands target them because they’re practical, care about money, and want products that match who they are. They often use technology and social media to decide what to buy, trusting real people’s opinions more than celebrities’.

What does Gen Z value most?

Gen Z values diversity, finding their unique identities, social responsibility, and authenticity in brand interactions. They also prioritize collaboration, independence, caring for others, and environmental concerns. This generation also values privacy, smart shopping, and taking responsibility for the future seriously.

Are Gen Z loyal to brands?

Gen Z sticks with brands that feel real, match what they believe in, and give them unique experiences. They prefer brands that care about important topics like politics and the environment. Instead of just liking famous people’s ads, they stick around for brands that really connect with them and stand for the same things they do.

What makes Gen Z unique?

Generation Z is different because they’re very diverse racially and ethnically, and they grew up using technology from a young age. They care about things like health and privacy, and they’re practical and independent. They like working together, care about social issues, and want to make the world fairer for everyone.

Capturing Gen Z's Hearts and Minds

Understanding and effectively marketing to Gen Z requires authenticity, social responsibility, and adaptability. Fun Studio can help your brand connect with this influential generation through personalized, genuine brand identities.

Partner with Fun Studio for custom brand identities that resonate with the values and preferences of this diverse and digitally savvy demographic.

Ready to capture Gen Z’s attention? Contact us and let’s create experiences that keep them coming back for more.

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