Gen Z wants brands to bare their souls!
Move over Millennials, the time has come to share some of the warm glow and attention of the marketing spotlight. Yes, Generation Z may not have a lot of cash in their pockets, but what they think and say is worth its weight in gold. And it’s safe to say this digitally native generation may hold many answers to defining successful brands moving forward. To begin to understand how to reach Gen Z, brands better be ready to prove they know who they are, how they’re making a difference in the world and a willingness to take it all off — total transparency.
How a generation interacts with the marketplace around them is a fair barometer of their core values as a whole. The qualities they hold dear, the trends they adopt and the brands they embrace all reveal where their heads and hearts reside. Being born into unrest, uncertainty and too many unanswered questions, Gen Z demands brands and businesses step up and lead the charge for the Earth and all its inhabitants. From concerns around climate change and racial and gender unrest to physical and mental wellness and health, Gen Z doesn’t give a damn about a logo on their chest – unless it represents a fight for good. And with parents and teens in agreement that kids have influence across a wide spectrum of household decisions, brands need to pay close attention to how to earn this generation’s trust and respect.
So how do brands court a generation that holds their futures in their hands? Fundamentally, brands first need to come to terms with exactly who they are themselves, what they offer – and why. Through that soul search, how a brand can best help make the world a better place should reveal itself naturally and in a way that’s true to them. Once a brand knows exactly who they are, they need to be able to authentically share it with the world. No curtains, no veils, just the truth about what they stand for, why, and a clear view of the real folks inside that make it all happen. Total transparency fosters invaluable trust.
When it comes to communicating, brands need to embrace a two-way street. Gen Z has a voice, and when they have something to say they want to be heard. Brands who can listen and answer will earn respect and critical engagement. Along these lines, how brands communicate should be anchored in truth and honesty, then offered in short, sweet, digestible servings.
And in addition, trends surrounding value and convenience, which were already gaining momentum before the pandemic, are now reaching terminal velocity. From unprecedented, next-level customer service and return policies, to game-changing rental and used marketplaces, what were once general consumers’ dreams and nightmares are now Gen Z’s list of demands. The first digitally native generation is forcing brands to not only up their games across the board, but embrace omnichannel models as well — or suffer the consequences. Brands’ willingness and abilities to embrace such demands will have profound effects on their immediate and long-term success.
Unbound’s years of experience provide clients a vital perspective at not only the constantly shifting consumer landscape around them, but a fresh and honest perspective of their brand as well. By boiling down the core values of a brand, then aligning them with how products or services are talked about, we help create the essential foundation to build marketing and communication strategies. Strategies that differentiate from your competition, while garnering respect and trust from consumers. As we learn about your brand, you learn about your brand, then we build a road to achieve your sales and brand goals together.