Gen Z: ‘Prone to urgency, seeks exclusivity’

It is not a difficult generation to understand for brands prepared to do right by it, says YAAP's Arshad Zaheer

Image credit:  Zyanya BMO on Unsplash

Generation Z (Gen Z) seek authenticity, consistency and personalisation from brands, says Arshad Zaheer, Senior Partner at YAAP.

It doesn’t end there. Gen Z is also prone to urgency and seeks exclusivity.

So, communications should be concise, matter-of-fact, and bite-sized, with visually appealing content like GIFs and memes.

Their tendency to shop impulsively and seek instant gratification opens marketing opportunities for limited-time offers or flash sales.

Such campaigns can be executed at scale with services like instant customer support through online channels, live chat, and social media.

Creators and consumers

Gen Z does not like to be just consumers; they are also creators who desire some agency in the development of the products and services they buy.

That calls for brands to promote user-generated content and avenues to co-create. Encourage Gen Z to create and share their content related to your brand.

Contests, polls, challenges, and hashtag campaigns can amplify their engagement and help build a sense of community around your brand.

This approach helps reduce the brand-consumer disconnect and fosters relatability.

The utility of influencers in Gen Z marketing is linked to the same idea of relatability.

The rationale is that Gen Z likes to interact with brand ambassadors who are relatable and capable of providing authentic recommendations based on lived experiences.

Compared to celebrities who could be merely promoting a brand without experiencing it, influencers are more “relatable” as brand ambassadors.

Arshad Zaheer, Senior Partner, YAAP

Niche influencers go a step beyond by trying a product and providing personal narratives, thus garnering customer trust and helping make informed purchase decisions.

Online: The common ground for brands and Gen Z

Gen Z’s digital nativity means online platforms are their primary avenues to communicate and interact.

Mobile optimization is paramount because Gen Z uses smartphones for just about everything.

So, marketing effectiveness hinges on smartphone-friendly interfaces, short page-load-times, and brand communications tailored to behavioural insights.

Fortunately, a digital-first approach allows marketers to harness data, analyze it, and use the insights to segment the audience and orchestrate personalised campaigns.

The focus is authenticity, upheld and established through real-life stories and experiences. Gen Z can quickly detect over-polished content that seems contrived.

Responsible consumption

Gen Z’s awareness of contemporary social, environmental, and economic issues often underpins its consumerism.

So, by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and social equity, brands can resonate deeply with this generation.

Such a purpose-driven approach and cause-driven marketing should uphold diversity and inclusion across its operations, from the messaging in pop-up notifications to recruitment policies and everything in between.

Multiple studies have revealed that, when engaged meaningfully, Gen Z displays unshakeable brand loyalty.

That, in turn, translates to good word-of-mouth business.

But marketers must also be wary of the notion that a happy customer tells a friend; an unhappy customer tells the world — a tendency more pronounced in Gen Z due to high connectivity and sharing of information through online channels.

That is to say, Gen Z is not a difficult generation to understand; it is a marketable segment for brands prepared to do right by it.