Marketing to Generation Z? Here's What You Need to Know

Better position your product or service with Generation Z by understanding their values, how they make purchases, and how they differ from Millennials.

 Marketing to Generation Z? Here's What You Need to Know

Jeff Fromm and Angie Read, authors of Marketing to Gen Z: The Rules for Reaching This Vast--and Very Different--Generation of Influencers, recently shared their Generation Zmarketing insights on my podcast. The below are the highlights from our conversation.

What words best describe Generation Z?

  • Fiscally Responsible
  • Independent
  • Focused
  • Determined
  • Hard-working
  • Competitive
  • Entrepreneurial

Why is it important to understand Generation Z?

  • Youth culture is impacting American consumer culture across generations much more broadly than ever before. The next generation provides data points into what's likely next for industries.
  • Generation Z is one of the most powerful consumer forces in the market today. Their buying power is $44 billion and expands to $600 billion when considering the influence they have on their parents' spending. 
  • Generation Z will represent 40 percent of American consumers by 2020.

How is Generation Z similar to Millennials? (Read this for nine ways Generation Z will be like Millennials.)

  • The digital, social, and mobile behaviors of Generation Z and Millennials are similar.
  • They are both early adopters of all things that simplify their lives.

How is Generation Z different from Millennials? (Read this for eight differences between Generation Z and Millennials.) 

  • Privacy matters more to Generation Z. They are very careful and intentional about managing their online reputation.
  • Generation Z is fundamentally moving towards more traditional values. They are old souls in young bodies.
  • Generation Z will be more competitive. This is in contrast to Millennials' collaborative behaviors.

What are the values of Generation Z?

  • Human Equality
  • Family
  • Individuality
  • Personal Success
  • Financial Security
  • Authenticity/Transparency 

How does Generation Z make purchasing decisions?

  • Quality and Value: Generation Z wants to know they are getting the most for their money.
  • Identity: Generation Z considers if the brand fits their unique identity and/or if the product reflects their own values.
  • Peers: Generation Z crowdsources their purchasing decisions and seeks the opinion of their peers before (and after) buying.
  • Accessibility: Brands must make their products or services available in a mobile-friendly and mobile-first fashion. 
  • Hyper-Convenience: A step up from accessibility, Generation Z wants just-in-time products/services that can be consumed instantly.

What makes brands relevant to Generation Z?

  • Taking a stand on important issues. Generation Z practices what they preach and they expect brands to do the same.
  • Reflecting a more realistic portrayal of life. Marketing messages that depict a non-diverse and utopian world won't resonate with Generation Z. 
  • Creating authentic two-way conversations that allow Generation Z to co-create with brands. Don't market to them; market with them.

Listen to my full interview with Fromm and Read here.

I help companies better lead, engage, train, and sell to Millennials and Generation Z. If you’d like help solving tough generational challenges inside your organization, click here. 


Ryan Jenkins



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