Move over Millennials, Gen Z is coming of age and they’re the ones to watch. In fact, Gen Z is now poised to activate their purchasing power as the older of the bunch reach their mid-20s.
You may be asking – why should I focus on such a young generation when there’s money to be made marketing to Millennials and Gen X? Our simple answer: why would you ever limit yourself when they make up nearly 68 million in the U.S.? This generation is growing into their own and they differ from Millennials.
It’s time to learn more about Gen Z as they grow into their purchasing power while entering the workforce.
Who Makes Up Gen Z?
Gen Z is made up of those who were born between 1997 – 2012. The youngest being 10 and the eldest turning 25 this year.
They are also nicknamed Zoomers (oddly this started in 2016 before they had to rely on Zoom for school and work during COVID). Additionally, they’ve been called iGen since they are rooted in technology. All this to say – Gen Z is more than tech-savvy, they are inherently tech-focused.
[Source: Edwards Co.]
The above table from Edwards Co. offers a great side-by-side look at differences between Millennials (the current stakeholders in purchasing power) and Gen Z. This information is extremely helpful and we are going to expand on it a bit.
The Future Is Theirs
Gen Z is a generation that is very concerned with their future. Between global, environmental, and social issues – they are taking it all into account. Who can blame them for thinking of how they can improve their futures, as opposed to living in the moment.
They can even be seen as a throwback to a previous generation – Gen X. Known for being latchkey kids and working hard to earn what they have, Gen X has worked hard for all they have, taking pride in their work. They are not a generation that assumes they will be discovered on social media and become rich or famous. They are willing to work.
Could this be because Gen Zers are the children of Gen Xers? Perhaps! And it appears we’re not the only ones to summate that based on the image below from Kasasa.
(Social) Listening In On Gen Z
Yes, Gen Z is poised to activate their purchasing power, but how do you know what they want? That’s where social listening comes into play. If you frequent our blogs, then this may be a broken record for you. But honestly, if you aren’t implementing social listening into your social media management toolbox, what are you even doing?
Social listening can be used to boost social media posts, direct your paid media content, and check in on customer care as well. With such an insightful tool that produces limitless data, why wouldn’t you use it in your social media strategy?
Gen Z Cares About Purpose
We’ve definitely talked about the importance of brands taking a stand when it comes to social issues. That’s been a key factor in where Millennials put their money. Gen Z is similar here, but with a little difference. Where Millennials want an immediate reaction from brands during social and global injustices, Gen Z seeks out brands that are both eco and socially conscious.
Gen Z is highly aware of the current global crisis involving the environment and they want to make sure they’re investing in companies that are doing something to create a better future for their generation.
Brands are taking note and one brand, in particular, Toms shoes, revamped its focus in 2021 to lean into what Gen Z wants. The original business model with Toms was that they would donate one pair of shoes for each pair purchased. It was a great idea but declined in sales over the last few years. Now, Toms has pivoted with: “Shoes for moving forward. 1/3 of profits for grassroots good.”
Gen Z Is On Multiple Platforms
Remember what we said earlier? Gen Z has grown up always having social media. Therefore, they are effortlessly going between multiple screens and multiple social media platforms. This also means they have a shorter attention span and prefer quick videos or images with all the information in one place.
Gen Z is poised to activate their purchasing power, are you ready? You can easily apply social listening to determine where Gen Z falls within your customer base. It’s also important for you to have a Customer Care team to handle any comments and questions on your brand’s social accounts. And as always, never underestimate the power of engagement with your customers! Gen Z is a group of socially and environmentally aware people who want to know your brand is listening to what they have to say.
What is your brand doing to engage with Gen Z? Let us know in the comments below!