When we hear “Generation Z”, we automatically associate the group with the few culprits who spent their time eating Tide Pods to entertain the internet. However, in this group of younger people up to age 22, there are a lot of things that make this generation unique and profitable. Generation Z is expected to make up 40% of all consumers by the year 2020. Because Gen Z will make up a large portion of the population, it’s important to understand their spending habits and mindset in order to know how to reach them from a business standpoint.
Gen Z Was Born Tech
Generation Z grew up with social media and technology and can’t remember a time where it wasn’t available to them. It’s hard for them to believe their grandparents’ stories about the “good ole days” when cell phones didn’t exist, and it’s even difficult for them to listen to Millennials talk about the wonders of “compact discs.”
Because of this technology age that Gen Z is accustomed to, they tend to be attached to all of their electronic devices- whether it be their cell phones, tablets, or laptops. They are constantly using their phones to browse social media, listen to music, and stay in constant contact with friends. Some Gen Z-ers may check social media up to 100 times a day!
While Gen Z tends to have less focus and shorter attention spans than Millennials and older generations, Gen Z-ers are world-class multitaskers. Growing up in a digital age has groomed them to be skilled at moving between channels effortlessly while also engaging in other tasks. For example, someone in Gen Z can write a report on their laptop while researching on their phone- all the time reading their notes document on their tablet with Netflix on the TV in the background. They routinely use multiple devices, and they work efficiently this way.
Decreased Brand Loyalty
Millennials and generations before have this loyal mindset that drives them to find a brand they like and stick with it. This type of loyalty isn’t the case for Generation Z — they care more about the quality and reputation of each product no matter where it comes from. Gen Z-ers may purchase different products from different sites and stores just to ensure they get the best quality care all around. Decreased brand loyalty is also prevalent because Gen Z expects more out of the companies selling them the products. They want each company to cater to them and show them loyalty instead of the other way around. Ultimately, Gen Z wants to feel valued and respected.
Bargain? Never Heard of Her.
In concurrence with the increased importance of quality products, the value of a good bargain is #canceled by Gen Z. Millennials and Baby Boomers love a good bargain and the opportunity to save money, but low prices aren’t that important to Generation Z. Buying a product based on the consumer reviews is a lot more common for this generation than buying the lowest-priced product. Gen Z-ers know that if the reputation of a product or service is good, the product or service itself is very likely to meet their expectations.
Social Advertising Opportunities for Gen Z
These distinct qualities of Generation Z create a unique opportunity for social advertising that wasn’t relevant for previous generations. Platforms and strategies have changed, and the business world must stay on top of these revelations.
Gen Z spends nearly a third of their social media time on YouTube. With YouTubers on the rise, Gen Z-ers are frequently logging in and subscribing to their favorite vloggers’ video channels. This high use creates the perfect opportunity for advertising. An ad placed on Youtube will reach many more young people than an ad placed on another platform such as Facebook- which is less-often visited by this demographic.
The popularity of Instagram has increased exponentially since its creation in 2010. Generation Z and Millennials were the trailblazers for this media-sharing app, and they’ve successfully made it what it is today. Gen Z uses Instagram almost as much as they use YouTube, which makes it a very powerful marketing tool. Instagram ads are incredibly effective for young people, and Gen Z-ers will frequently open advertisements that look cool and interesting. Instagram Story Ads are becoming more effective than news feed ads, as Insta users are focusing more on stories than news feed posts.
The next most-used app among Gen Z is Snapchat. Snapchat tends to be Gen Z’s primary mode of communication between friends. The use of short-term content was Snapchat’s primary invention, and many other platforms have modeled this idea in their “stories” as well. Snapchat has also grown in the realm of content creation and media sharing in recent years. Now, a user can view stories, subscriptions, tutorials, and other vlogs all in the same app. Among this media, ads are frequently placed in mandatory viewing positions within the content sequence. Users sometimes cannot skip these advertisements and are required to watch a short ad before finishing the vlog/content they are viewing. This type of ad, because it’s both unavoidable and quick, is perfect for reaching Gen Z-ers.
And That’s the Tea
Overall, Gen Z is a unique generation that focuses a large amount of their time on social media and all things tech-related. They place a lot of power on quality and brand reputation and less on efficient costs of products and services. Multi-tasking is their name, and social media usage is their game. Gen Z-ers constantly switch between platforms and are gaining tons of exposure to lots of different content on every app/site. Companies can benefit from the habits and distinctive qualities of Generation Z. The opportunity for social media advertising is #LIT.