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10 Ways Brands and Retailers Can Prepare for Generation Z

If there is a single defining feature of today’s society, it is communication. The advent of technologies like social media, smartphones and the internet have forever changed the way people talk to one another.

Distance has become meaningless, language boundaries are porous and barriers, for the most part, are erased.

In addition to communicating with each other, people can also connect in new ways with brands and businesses.

Consumers and producers are obtaining increasingly clear views of one another, and this cohesion allows for mutual understanding.

With relative ease, buyers can now peer into the inner workings of the companies they follow.

Sellers can address their consumers directly, with more intimate marketing campaigns and more personalized advertising.

Using these defining characteristics, both ends of the market can communicate with one another more effectively, making for more lucrative business.

And with Gen Z and young consumers at the forefront of today’s technology-wielding consumer base, businesses can prosper by marketing specifically to them.

On that note, here are 10 ways retailers can advertise to Gen Z.

1. Present on platforms.

For today’s businesses, the most vital step in appealing to Gen Z is meeting them on their own turf: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine. These are the heavyweights of the social media platforms because of their ability to attract people and get them interacting.

Because younger consumers frequent these platforms, companies and brands that advertise on social media are more visible to this younger age range.

Businesses that market on social media are at an advantage because their efforts to spread brand awareness are seen immediately by their target audience.

2. Consistent content.

In addition to being present on social media platforms, businesses can capitalize on their increased visibility by staying active on those accounts.

Failing to provide content on a regular basis can obscure an account and reverse the positive effects of using social platforms in the first place.

If they don’t post consistently on social media, businesses are essentially guaranteeing a decline in interest. Although their marketing campaigns may attract some viewers, they will quickly vanish in the fast-paced social media environment unless the material is constantly refreshed.

Businesses can hold the attention of Gen Z by continuing advertising campaigns over time.

3. Keep it creative.

Being consistent is key, but it’s also important to keep advertisements fresh and creative.

Commercials that are repeated ad nauseam may create negative associations in the minds of a young audience.

Businesses should approach marketing with the intent to provide new information or entertainment regularly, so as to keep viewers engaged.

4. Partner with celebrities.

All businesses try to create striking content, but sometimes the efforts fall flat.

In order to engage Gen Z, it’s crucial to communicate with them on their own terms, a feat most businesses can’t accomplish on their own.

Partnering with athletes, movie stars and other celebrities can be an effective way to grab an audience’s interest.

Businesses should consider including well-recognized people in their marketing campaigns to automatically pique interest.

5. Packaged advertising.

Today’s young people have shorter attention spans than their elders. For that reason, it’s important to limit your pitches to only the most exciting and pertinent details.

Social media and the teenagers that use it deal well with fast, packaged statements and advertisements, while long and verbose descriptions will be passed over.

Businesses making use of social media can more effectively advertise by delivering their information in shorter and more digestible bursts of information.

6. Concision is key.

Young consumers base their impressions of messages on the first and last statements made. Long, drawn-out pitches are ineffective because the bulk of the message is forgotten, and the length can be irritating to most listeners.

Businesses should keep in mind that concise advertising that packs a punch is always more effective than long advertising that attempts to cover more ground.

7. Focus on accessories.

Keeping with the trend of being detail-oriented, businesses choosing to advertise to Gen Z must keep in mind that products are made more exciting by their features.

Since teenagers generally prefer gaining an understanding of topics and products through direct, packaged statements, focusing on accessories when advertising just makes more sense.

Although it can be important to broaden the scope and talk about a product as whole from time to time, focusing on the details is simply more conducive to holding an audience’s attention.

8. Speak on the same level.

It’s no secret that teenagers possess their own special language of constantly changing slang and phrases. For the marketing teams at businesses, it’s helpful to use the same kind of language when trying to appeal to the Gen Z audience.

If an advertisement makes use of the language they’re comfortable with, teenagers may be more inclined to listen. Don’t go overboard, though! Pepper your advertisements with “LOLs” and emoji, and you may come across as a geeky uncle trying too hard to fit in. 

9. Reference their interests.

In addition to communicating with teenagers in a way they are comfortable with, it’s also important to consider their interests.

Pop culture includes topics such as sports, TV, films, music, the internet and social media movements.

Smart advertisement campaigns make use of current trends to appeal to Gen Z audiences by creating an association between some exciting facet of pop culture and their own product. Businesses should use this strategy to attract consumers with something that already engages them.

10. Leave advertising to Gen Z.

Gen Z is heavily present on social media; in fact, this feature pretty much defines them.

One of the biggest aspects of social media is the capacity to share topics of interest to other users, and this is a practice Gen Z is well aware of.

Businesses promoting themselves on social media are tasked with winning over young consumers with a number of methods, ranging from emulating teen speak to focusing on short, packaged statements about details.

However, when a business is successful in this feat, the rest of the work is up to Gen Z.

Indeed, if advertising is well received, the chances are high that it will be talked about and shared among Gen Zers and across the internet as a whole.

Businesses that follow all these steps and successfully win over consumers to their product can effectively have those consumers strengthen their advertising through the same media they are marketing through.

Written by Shishir Bandi

Shishir Bandi is a freshman at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Currently pursuing a major in Chemical Engineering, he enjoys writing in his free time as a creative escape.

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