Retail Marketing for Gen Z – Engaging the Next Generation of Consumers

Errol Andam Nike

It’s no longer about reaching Millennials. Instead, retailers are trying to reach the content-hungry, digitally native generation — Gen Z (a.k.a., Zoomers). Born between 1995 and 2012, they don’t know life without the internet, and they’re the most educated generation in history. So, brands wishing to reach them must be clever when implementing new strategies. 

Errol Andam, founder of creative experiential marketing agency 10X10 StudioLab, reports that, believe it or not, marketing to Gen Z, the demographic that is effortlessly switching between their online and offline universes on an hourly basis, is worlds apart from every other generation. Only brands that learn new, more effective techniques will gain a competitive advantage and tap into the generation with endlessly increasing purchasing power. 

The Generation with Bespoke Marketing Needs

Understanding the Zoomers’ unique needs starts by examining monumental events that occurred during their formative years. For instance, Gen X (1965 to 1979) admires status above all, while Millennials (1980 to 1994) yearn for authenticity. 

As far as Gen Z is concerned, the search for truth reigns supreme. This completely digital-savvy generation has no problem searching for information and cross-referencing sources to find the entire truth. When retailers come to understand this, their marketing team will be able to produce content types that will satisfy this desire.

On top of that, this generation is highly loyal. A National Retail Federation and IBM Institute for Business Value report showed that 59% of Gen Z survey respondents said they trust brands they grew up with, and 66% said they stick to their favorite brand for years. 

Moreover, Zoomers influence their entire family’s buying/spending habits, since most of the generation still lives at home. Household goods (73%), furniture (76%), food and beverages (77%), and travel 66%) are the most influenced aspects. 

Errol Andam Nike

Marketing to Zoomers: Strategies for Brands to Get Ahead

Brands should aim to reach Gen Zers through social media by aligning themselves with their progressive nature and lifestyle. The strategies below increase the likelihood of attracting and keeping this generation.

Take Accountability and Be Transparent

Company culture is imperative to Gen Z. Thus, brands must hold the same values externally as they do internally.

Communicating these standards, however, is not enough. Zoomers will deep dive into everything and expose businesses who fail to deliver on the standards they publicize.

Accountability is also important to this generation. So, companies who admit their mistakes and take action to fix/change their behavior will receive attention and rewards from Gen Z. 

Errol Andam Nike

Never Underestimate the Power of Entertainment

Brands have about eight seconds to enchant a potential Gen Z customer. If they aren’t feeling the spark, they’ll scroll right past the content. Thus, engaging entertainment is the best approach. 

Quick, fun videos featuring the influencers or celebrities lauded by the majority of this generation will elicit particularly encouraging results. 

Forget Performative Activism

Data from Forrester’s Technographics shows that Gen Zers hide, block, and unfollow brands every week. Why? Because they don’t hesitate to get rid of businesses that have shallow veneers. 

Proper Gen Z marketing techniques will open a wealth of profit-raising benefits to businesses that follow.

By Errol Andam

Errol Andam