Generation Z… The Rising Consumer
Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator
Consumer behavior is changing, but one generation is leading the pack.
Consumer behavior is always changing, but as younger generations begin to dominate the market, new trends are evolving faster than ever before. Digital communication is becoming the keystone to connecting with your audience, especially younger generations. Although Millennials and Gen Z are both younger generations that are highly connected to technology, Gen Z has a particular connection that Millennials don’t: they were born in the digital era. That’s all they know, and that’s their preferred method of communication. Being brought up in an age of technology has given them their own set of unique behaviors, particularly in the way they consume content. The speed in which our culture is changing is faster than ever, and attention spans and interests are constantly evolving due to the ever-expanding internet. With a new type of consumer paving the path, brands are going to have to follow their lead and listen up in order to succeed.
Gen Z users are natural digital creators and are known for setting the trend, always finding new ways to connect online. They are even more reliant on social platforms than Millennials and have shorter attention spans, representing nearly 40% of global consumers. This is the generation of tolerance and inclusion with a need for authenticity and individual expression. If you want their business, you need to push your digital efforts even further and prove your brand’s value to them in order to be considered. As we have said before, Gen Z consumes content differently and can be reached on many platforms, it’s just a matter of context. Consider the platforms your audience uses to gain knowledge, start a conversation or even just have fun. If the context doesn’t fit, you will lose your audience very fast, but if you find a way to engage them, you are opening the door to future business opportunities. Creating a campaign around a cause and involving micro-influencers is just one way to gain interest and support from them. They love to share and are collaborative and creative. In fact, 80% of Gen Zers believe discovering a personal creative identity is important, with 65% of them creating and sharing content and over 25% posting original video content. YouTube is a knowledge hub for young consumers, and video content is considered to be Gen Z’s top preference.
Ever since the release of YouTube in 2005, content consumption has never been the same. With a higher need to make educated decisions based on their values, this generation seeks out trusted sources and are even more likely than Millennials to perform research to search for products and services. Even an A-list celebrity is no match to the micro-influencer they follow on Instagram. They want to hear from real people. This new trend allowed users to connect with their audience in a more personal way: vlogging. Fast forward a few years, now they are influencers, gaining micro or even macro celebrity status. However, the determining factors of success all depend on authenticity, quality of content and their adaptability to change. Gen Zers has an instinctive understanding of digital communication that other generations just don’t. They are tech-savvy generation and like to explore, so if a new app comes out, you can bet they have it. Change is something that is always going to happen, and businesses need to stay relevant and on top of their branding if they want to maintain a connection with their younger, emerging audience. Students turned from textbooks to YouTube and just like Vine used to be a hit, now it’s TikTok. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new platforms. Trends come and go. Facebook and YouTube weren’t an immediate hit. However, Vine and Musically were but lost steam. What matters is focusing on where the consumer is at the moment, mentally and physically. One place to look at is TikTok, and it all started with Gen Z. Charli D’Amelio is a prime example, gaining celebrity status at just 15 years old and making TikTok mainstream in just nearly 6 months. In this day and age, everyone is in the position of gaining some level of community following. The growing popularity of the new app has brands taking notice, which is now leading a new approach to consumer marketing through a more fun and interactive approach.
In light of the pandemic, the best way to connect with Gen Z, again, is to be authentic, supportive and engaging. According to a recent study, 75% of Gen Zers want to see brands putting safety and mental health first for both their employees and consumers. This generation is focused on the greater good for the community and uses their purchasing power as a vehicle for activism. If they think a brand is unauthentic or unsustainable, they will be the first ones to call it out. Young consumers in general, especially Gen Z, want to see brands step up to the plate when a crisis hits. In fact, showing support to the community and making a positive impact might even get them to pay more for your product or service. As we practice social distancing, it’s important to keep the connection going so your brand stays top of mind. If you don’t produce, the market will move. Gen Z has highlighted many new opportunities for brands to engage and connect online. Some brands are taking action, dedicating their money, time, or resources to frontline and healthcare workers as well as helping promote social distancing. While others are giving shoutouts to small businesses in their communities, reminding us to support others locally. However, many face the challenge of how they can continue producing content with their teams remotely. Many brands struggle to sit with their teams, restrategize and reorganize sometimes completely forgetting to listen to their audience. That’s where we come in.
At MSM DesignZ, we are dedicated to bringing out the best in your brand. The consumer is evolving and so should your marketing. Having a digital presence should not be an option, it’s imperative. We value the importance of creating valuable content that speaks to your audience. With over two decades of experience, we know what works and what doesn’t. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at https://www.msmdesignz.com/contact/, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!