As Gen Zs start to try and make something of 2020, the pressure is real. Australia continues to slowly ease back out of restrictions – bar Melbourne – and it means that like the rest of Australia, Gen Z are trying to find ways to salvage this year (if it’s at all possible, tbh).
And given the widespread changes we’re seeing in society on the back of a pandemic and global race war, marketing will probably never be the same. So heading into the next three to five years – how can your brand reach Gen Zs and students?
Afterpay recently released their Gen Z Report, delving into behaviour, trends and traits of Aussie youngsters – they included three key macro trends. The report claimed that the following trends and behavioural shifts are set to dominate the youth market in the coming half decade. So we’ve unpacked them, including some of the suggested brand actions, to see how they stack up.
Long gone are the days of waving big brands around as a power move. Money’s tie with status, while still naturally relevant, is diminishing in value according to the report – with Gen Zs reject “over displays of wealth”. They instead prefer flexibility and financial wellness; and this is something important to consider from a brand point of view. Is your brand offering financial flexibility, literacy or advice when it comes to money and/or purchases?
Incoming Micros: The report suggests flexible, budget-focused financial products that empower rather than entrap. Financial Wellness is viewed the same as physical health, so think about how your brand can help educate or serve in this way.
Brand Suggestions: Be flexible, be honest.
Retail purchasing is becoming an increasingly immersed experience, not purely driven on value or UX. Gen Zs are looking for a blended e-commerce experience, with a mix of “community, entertainment and shopping”. With the rise of channels like Depop, Etsy and even Facebook Marketplace, social media and curation is added to the e-commerce mix to make it a better, and peer-driven experience. Above all, these communities often represent diversity – something that brands don’t always adhere to in marketing.
Incoming Micros: Gen Zs value brands that have direct, emotional relationships with them – according to the report, and we’d definitely back that up. Gen Zs don’t want a faceless experience, at least where possible. And if you’re on a shoestring budget, make sure your customer service is personal and custom. All of the above forms stronger bonds, and increases purchasing power.
Brand Suggestions: Be emotional, be real, be purposeful.
Think virtual. We’ve seen brands from all types of industries get super innovative during lockdown and isolation, and it’s not the time to stop. We’re going to be living in a different world in the coming years, and we’re a long way off ‘normal’ (if we ever make it back to how it used to be). So how can virtual reality, augmented reality and other formats help deliver your brand message or product?
Incoming Micros: We know Gen Zs and young people are happy to serve up their data if they get value and transparency in return. So if offering a virtual experience, just be up front with how the data will be used.
Brand Suggestions: Be collaborative.