Each generation of consumers have presented unique challenges to marketers. The baby boomers were the easiest to advertise to, as they were never reluctant to buy cars or houses. The millennials were much more difficult to reach with such traditional branding messages. Now there’s a younger generation replacing the millennials that marketers might want to worry about more: the Generation Z or zillennials.

Brands should not underestimate the purchasing power Gen Z has. They came of age in the age of social media and smart devices. This is the generation that best knows how to use a smartphone. They are voracious social media consumers and dedicated digital citizens. Just like the millennials, the zillennials are also shirking traditional advertising. So, what is the best way to reach this particular age group?

According to some marketing experts, the best way to reach the Gen Z is to stop making up generic assumptions about them. Generalisation, as companies did with millennials, is ultimately fruitless, warns some. Could this be why the Gen Z has evaded so many established brands? Could non-generalising really lead your brand to zillennial customers? Read ahead to find out.

The Dangers of Generalisation with Generation Z

Following generational stereotypes is a dangerous path to be on when it comes to just about any generation. However, doing so has not failed brands that wanted to reach older generations. But, with Gen Z, the path could lead to peril and ruin, several notable digital marketing agency warn.

The problem with Generation Z is that they fail to meet most generalisation standards. This generation is not averse to brick-and-mortar stores as the millennials once were. In fact, they might even love going to stores to buy cool stuff. The eyeglass brand Warby Parker once tried to cater to zillennials online. When it didn’t succeed as hoped, the brand created physical stores with personal browsing experiences for the Gen Z. The strategy was so successful, Warby Parker no has a 100-store chain, in the same period the Walmarts and Sears stores are closing down.

The zillennials love social media, but that doesn’t mean they love brands that have a strong presence on social media. For example, the insurance brand Lemonade Inc, designed a major Gen Z-based social media and mobile marketing campaigns optimised by AI technology. The campaign wasn’t a failure, but it wasn’t as successful as the brand hoped either.

Countless brands spend barrels of cash on social media influencers to reach the Gen Z. However, the young customers move on from one influencer peddling paid products to the next, more authentic one, leaving brands out in the cold.

In other words, the Gen Z defies expectations. The typical generalisations certainly don’t work. So what can brands do to reach this age group?

Reaching the Ever Elusive Gen Z

The mistake marketers make with the Gen Z is that brands assume that the age groups is largely a homogenous group when it comes to interests and ideology. This was largely true with millennials. However, the same doesn’t apply to the new youth. It’s difficult to generalise with zillennials because this age group is made up of many subgroups. Instead of thinking about zillennials as one, huge age niche, brands should see the generation as a collection of subgroups with varying interests.

There are also certain generational qualities that affect the group as any other. But do not mistake these for vast generalisations brands can make to design an SEO strategy.

There is a way for businesses to reach the reluctant Gen Z. That is personalisation.

What Drives Gen Z Engagement? Personalisation.

It’s not that Gen Z is completely unresponsive to traditional branding messages. The problem here is that Gen Z isn’t keen on generalised marketing messages. These kids want to know the specific advantages of using a product for themselves. This is where personalisation comes in. Personalisation essentially tailors marketing to match individual needs of consumers.

Warby Parker mentioned above succeeded because the stores won over the customers with personalised and hands-on experiences. Personalisation refers to designing content of marketing material to directly address the intended consumer.

There are several ways to personalise branding messages. For example, using email with names instead of Facebook posts is a great way to directly reach a Gen Z consumer. Brands should first do research to find out what the Gen Z buyers wants, in particular, from any brand. The marketing material should then follow accordingly.

The Gen Z, like millennials value authenticity and credibility than flashy ads. They respond to personalised and highly targeted messages. Use these qualities to design marketing material that can finally reach though to the elusive generation.

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