As the world grows and changes, so must the way we do business. How we have been doing things in just a 10-year time span is suddenly passé. Just as with digital advancements, change comes with each new generation.
As our workforce is growing older, we are ushering in a younger demographic to attract. For some time, the “hot” demographic has been those in their mid-20s to mid-30s, popularly known as Millennials. Given their ages, most Millennials should be fully ingrained in our workforce. They may not yet be corporate business owners, but many are well on their way as managers or mid-to-high-level associates. If they haven’t made strides toward those key positions, then they may already be business owners as entrepreneurs. The size of the Millennial population peaked at 78 million; at its height, the Baby Boom generation numbered 74 million. Companies have been keenly aware of the Millennial superpower and have catered how they do business with them accordingly, as both consumers and integral members of the workforce.
New Kid(s) on the Block
Although Millennials are the dominant generation in size, there is a new generation on the horizon—Generation Z (Gen Z). If Millennials were born into the age of information, then Gen Z is the age of authenticity. The oldest of this generation is graduating college and will soon be part of the working world. Companies are beginning to shift their focus to defining this new generation so they can become more relevant to them. Nowhere is this more evident than in marketing.
Just look at the Gen Z business-to-consumer space with retail brands. What a fertile testing ground once Gen Z becomes more dominant and integrated into the workforce. What marketers have learned is that Gen Z is redefining the digital age. They have always seen themselves as part of a global community and want to be marketed to in a way that’s as culturally, technologically and economically diverse as they are. The age of information made the age of authenticity possible.
In their desire to be more authentic, Gen Z is using the digital landscape to reflect their ethos—to be themselves in a genuinely raw way without the polished facades featured in most marketing campaigns. Companies are listening and it shows in their marketing.
Target recently launched a social media account for their Instagram platform called Target Tag (@targettag and #targettag). Through @targettag, the company allowed their Gen Z consumers to have a global voice by getting them to share digital assets in their own social posts highlighting their experiences with the brand.
This helped Target maintain its brand relevancy with a younger demographic every time a photo was shared using the hashtag and as it was reposted to the Instagram account. A number of social media influencers were asked to join the launch, which gave the strategy a boost in reach, and expanded their efforts across social platforms like Snapchat and Twitter.
Leading up to our most recent election last November, Snapchat launched a campaign directly geared toward Gen Z voters in a way that let their voices be heard.
Marketing to Gen Z in the digital space has shown that brand relevance will drop if companies don’t cater to the generation as consumers. Gaining a deeper understanding of the audience you’re targeting means you can customize how your business approaches them. With Gen Z, authenticity isn’t a marketing tactic. It’s a requirement. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn.