Anyone who is born between 1995 and 2015 (4 to 24 years old in 2019) are considered to be a member of Generation Z. They are the most recently named generation and are rapidly becoming a group that marketers are focusing on because they are the buyers and consumers of tomorrow.
Gen Z members outnumber any other generation worldwide with a population of about 2 billion. In fact, in the United States alone they are over 90 million which is staggering considering that Millenials (Generation Y) and baby boomers (Generation X) are only 72 and 73 million respectively.
Another fact that has led to marketers closely watching members of Gen Z is that they possess more than $44B in yearly purchasing power, an astounding amount. Even without purchasing power, they still influence the majority of household consumption decisions.
Members of Gen Z will soon be adults and enter the job market which will increase their purchasing power and their influence over global purchasing decisions. The more members of this generation that start earning incomes, the greater their influence will be.
Therefore, it is a prudent decision to watch Gen Z and their consumption habits very closely. One way you can do so is to connect with them throughout the purchase cycle.
The purchase cycle involves the entire process from before the purchase is made (pre-purchase), when they make the purchase, and after the purchase is made (post-purchase).
Doing so has tremendous benefits to marketers and the companies whose products are being endorsed. Moreover, the purchase cycle for Gen Z is different than the purchase cycle for Millenials and baby boomers, therefore special and focused attention is required.
As the members of Gen Z come into their own, the question to ask is: how do you engage them throughout your brand’s purchase cycle?
Traditional advertising and attention-grabbing techniques that were successful with previous generations may not be so successful with members of Generation Z.
One of the major differences is that storyliving seems to be the key to influencing the hearts and minds of Gen Z. It is the most powerful way to grab their attention.
I can envision you asking “What is storyliving?” Storyliving is a method used by companies to enable their target audience to experience and understand their brand narrative and DNA. Storytelling has proven to be an effective technique that helps prospective and existing customers understand the company’s values and mission rather than merely the goods and services they offer.
The emergence of Gen Z as a force in the consumption world has led to brands reinventing the manner in which they present their brand story. Previously, the conversation was one sided and involved brands telling their anonymous audience about their brands. Storyliving allows the brand and its target audience to have a conversation, facilitating back and forth communication.
The prevalent use of mobile technology by Gen Z has been the biggest attribute for success in facilitating these conversations. It has enabled brands to formulate deep and meaningful relationships with consumers in the pre-purchase stage. Therefore, you should educate your target audience through social media platforms to build credibility and authenticity before the purchase.
Connecting During Purchase
A unique attribute about Generation Z is that they would rather research products online and then purchase them in brick and mortar shops. This attribute enables marketers to build brand loyalty and encourage consumption at the point of purchase. It is at this stage where physical and digital aspects of marketing meet which offer you the opportunity to bridge the gap.
One way for you to connect with Gen Z at this stage is to create an interactive purchasing experience that can be accomplished through product quizzes, offers, recommendations and even competitions with prizes to be won. Influencers are also a highly valuable asset to gathering Gen Z engagement. It’s been so highly utilized it has made its way onto one of the most relevant SEO ranking factors this year.
Such activities facilitate interaction between consumers and the product while offering marketers the opportunity to pass on important information as the Gen Z members shop. You can also collect information at this stage which you can use to start other conversations in the future.
Connecting Post Purchase
The best technique that you can use to connect with Gen Z members post purchase is gamification. Games can be used to induce certain actions and hence alter behavior through certain physiological and social motivating factors.
Therefore, using gamification you can create a fun experience that encourages members of Gen Z to interact with brands they use as regularly as they want. The interactions can also be customized to be short or long, as long as they remain fun and don’t lose their allure.
Through such engagements post-purchase you can receive feedback about your brand and you can get insight into the thought process of Gen Z which you can use to more accurately and efficiently focus your marketing efforts.
Creating a reward system through gamification will maintain engagement for long periods of time. To be even more successful, you can tie your gamification experience to pop culture elements like music, movies, and sports.
All in all, Gen Z consumers have a very new way of deciding how they purchase, why they purchase it, and what they really want to purchase. It has made marketing in general shift to a more fun way of advertising goods and services. Think about this while you approach your next marketing venture: how strong is your online and social media presence? Are people invested in your brand, in your company, and your mission as well as your product and service?