Immersed in technology throughout their growing years, Generation Z is often referred to as the “digital natives”. Nearly a third of Gen Zers spend 6 hours or more on their phones each day, as compared to their millennials (22%) and Gen Xers (10%) counterparts.
Though these digital natives may spend a huge proportion of their time on social media, a survey has found that 36 percent of this segment “carefully curate their online presence”, compared to millennials (31%) and Gen Xers (24%). Besides using social media as a platform for communication and self-expression, social media also acts as a source of news for this cohort.
When it comes to target marketing, we used to hear marketers telling brands to be “where their consumers are at”. But these days, that’s the bare minimum consumers actually expect from brands, especially when it comes to the Gen Zers. It’s safe to say that the time has come for brands to go beyond “being present”. How? Maybe it would help if we delved into some things you need to know about the Gen Z demographic now:
#1 Entertainment is news
Forget the television or the papers. Remember what we mentioned earlier about social media as a news source for this demographic? With an increasingly short attention span, these digital natives look out for informative and bite-sized content on different platforms. This may be one reason why Gen Zers make up approximately 80 percent of the users on TikTok (or Douyin in China).
Besides fun and engaging content, they also look out for inspirational content so here’s a tip for all brands out there: consider what would keep your audience watching till the end without hitting the skip button. But don’t forget to be authentic. They’d know.
#2 Expectations of brands
Whether you choose to refer to them as social justice warriors or agents of change, it doesn’t alter the fact that Gen Zers are expecting more and more from brands. They tend to be drawn to brands that resonate with them. Whether it’s racial inequality, gender discrimination or eco-consciousness, this generation is woke and socially aware of these global issues. Maintaining neutrality on such social issues is no longer an acceptable response if you are looking at capturing the heart share of this demographic. At the same time, authenticity shows up in consistency and such content shouldn’t be put out purely for self-serving purposes to the brand.
As agents of change, Gen Zers no longer regard social media as just a tool to consume media. They are demanding a voice in decisions that affect their lives and social media helps amplify that. Take the beauty industry for example, with the rising number of beauty influencers who are male, there is an increase in interest for makeup among Gen Z’s men. As this generation breaks down stereotypes and challenges traditional beauty norms, brands need to change their advertising messages to appeal to their target audience.
And that’s not all. The brands we wear or carry are usually an extension of our identity. To showcase their unique identity as self-loving individuals, this demographic generally prefers brands that set them apart from others, except… said brands should also be popular, trendy AND recognised at the same time. Yes, you’re not wrong. I guess we are kind of a want-it-all.
#3 Price≠ quality
It’s worth noting that they aren’t willing to sacrifice quality for price. Nevertheless, thanks to their high digital literacy, information is easily accessible (within a click) and that may contribute to some of their deal-hunting behaviour. Brands thus need to make sure that the price and quality equation is just right for this cohort. So here’s another tip from us: do some research and find out what your local Gen Zers are willing to pay for because not every Gen Zer is the same!
#4 Everyone's a creator
Gen Z isn’t a homogenous cohort and not every Gen Zer is the same – but anyone can be a creator. Compared to their millennial counterparts who enjoy consuming content, Gen Zers typically prefer to create content. In fact, brands can leverage this to invite Gen Zers to engage and interact with your marketing content on social media! Cost aside, TikTok actually makes an exemplary platform for marketing – whether it’s in the form of a trend, dance challenge or even hashtag, user-generated content on TikTok is able to bring about a domino effect in increasing awareness of your brand.
And there’s a sneak peek into our upcoming articles 😉 Keep an eye on this space (cc: all brand and social media managers) to find out which social media platform to use and how to connect with the digital natives effectively.
We hope this article gave you a better insight into the Gen Z cohort and their consumer habits that were shaped by technology. And if you’re still thinking if Gen Z is a market worth targeting, here’s something to help you – by 2025, this demographic will compose 25 percent of your consumers in the APAC region, and that makes them equal to the millennials. Lastly, with Gen Z pioneering the start of a digital generation, we can only expect the succeeding generations to follow in their footsteps – wit