How To Target Gen Z in FMCG
Own the market by reaching out specifically to Gen Z.
Gen Z (those born between circa 1997 and 2012) are growing up, fast. And with that, they are entering into the workforce and swiftly becoming a large and important consumer group.
To engage with Gen Z, you need to think like them, and lately we’ve been doing just that – talking a lot with Gen Z’s and our own clients to help them target this emerging generation in their brand engagement.
Below we’ll talk about what makes Gen Z different from their older siblings, the Millennials, and share some thoughts on how to engage effectively with them as part of your brand and marketing efforts.
So, Who Are They?
Between X and Y:
Gen Z’s are between 7 and 22 years old, comprise 32% of the world population, and have an estimated purchasing power of $44 billion per annum.
They were born into technology, making them digital natives. Having never known a world without the internet, you can almost guarantee that each one of them owns a smartphone and stays connected for more than ten hours each day.
Whilst they may be digital natives, they still crave the human element and understand the importance of it both in the workplace and in their shopping behaviours (98% shopping in-store at least some of the time).
Gen Z’s save more than their millennial counterparts, gain a sense of empowerment from planning for the future, and view price as a key determining factor when making purchasing decisions
Gen Z prefers not to be sold to. They prefer purposeful brands. Brands with a sense of community, and real experiences (so stay far away from photoshop). They are naturally more entrepreneurial-minded and will keep brands on their toes. Above all else, remember that Gen Z don’t just want to buy your brand, they want to feel a part of your brand tribe.
Points of Difference
Traditional marketing won’t work. You need edgy campaigns and new ways of storytelling. Sometimes referred to as the Pluralist Generation, Gen Z strongly believe in diverse societies and religions, and believe people can and should coexist happily within society. We’re also noticing a trend towards a happier, healthier lifestyle.
According to the World Health Organization, the number of alcohol drinkers has decreased by almost 5% since the 2000s. Alcohol brands like Diageo have paid notice. Even challenger brands like non-alcoholic spirits company, Seedlip, are having their moment. Why? Because, they’re offering a different alternative, and proving that healthy can still be edgy.
It’s no doubt that Millennials and Gen Z’s are savvy with tech. However, most of this younger age bracket don’t like hard sales, and swaying them to use an in-store app or pull out a QR code could prove a bit tricky. To entice them, make sure you speak to their budget conscious brains. Asahi has an app that offers free beers at pubs across London. We heard from a secret someone (cough perhaps one of our Gen Z team members cough) that this app was a hit for a free after-work drink.
Embrace the tech, and don’t forget the importance of brand engagement. How many ‘My Year In Monzo’ posts flooded your feed with Deliveroo or Uber Eats order guilt? Engage with your Gen Z audience online in a genuine way, they will appreciate it.
61% of Gen Zs believe brands are better positioned than governments to solve social problems.
Younger audiences want to engage and feel that their values are aligned with the brands they use. Although brands do need to be careful with jumping on a political bandwagon and not practising what they preach, simple and genuine messaging can show people you stand with them.
‘Purpose-driven’ and ‘climate consciousness’ is influencing everything from how we engage with brands, to packaging, to legislation. 68% of Gen Z are concerned about the environment. 61% of Gen Z believe brands are better positioned than governments to solve social problems.
Brands like KFC were sensitive to crisis by amending their ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ tagline in light of Covi-19. Your brand has its own set of values so, stay listening to your audience and be responsive to them.
This has also led to a rise in digital influencers and experiential marketing. 76% of Gen Z want brands to respond to their feedback and view “responsiveness” as a metric of a brand’s authenticity. An overwhelming amount of digital content means advertising has to have a greater impact at a faster speed than traditional radio and TV ads. Those of us who are classed as Gen Z, have a whopping 8 second attention span.
What Does This Mean For Your Brand?
As a marketer, you need to recognize that Gen Z are emerging as a consumer force. And if you don’t start to target them, your consumer base will be next to none in the future.
But behind any great marketing campaign, is a brave, purposeful brand. Boost your brand loyalty by targeting Gen Z… try this:
1. Find your purpose. To engage, your company needs a bigger purpose than just making money. Think big. Why does your brand exist? For whom? What’s your wider brand vision?
2. Sell experiences rather than products.
Obvious marketing campaigns are super obvious. It’s that simple. Sell your brand by showing off the lifestyle and experiences that come along with it. Be authentic and avoid photoshop and stock imagery. Rather than just selling your products, create a brand tribe for your audience to buy into.
3. Stop doing hard sells.
Like we just said above, Gen Z are immune to obvious marketing campaigns. They can see a hard sell from a mile off. Think of new ways to tell your brand story and don’t be afraid to take risks and be edgy. Just remember to stay true to your brand.
4. Engage with your customers.
Friends, family and the general public are your customer’s greatest influence. “76% of Gen Zers have stated they want brands to respond to feedback and view this responsiveness as key to determining the authenticity of a brand. 41% of this generation read at least five online reviews before making a purchase.”
5. Believe in your brand values.
Give younger generations something to believe in. They are outspoken and active in their societal views and they appreciate brands who align with their values.
* Want to delve deeper into your audience and how to reach them? Arrange a 1:1 Strategy Session with our Creative Team. Book here