Generation Z, often mistaken for millennials, are the latest puzzle for marketing teams around the world. Born in 1995 and later, this latest generation requires a different approach than their predecessors. They’re more budget-oriented, have lower attention spans than millennials, and are more inclined to self-employment. These traits and more have made it difficult for many corporate leaders to understand and approach them. For your small business to succeed, you must meet Gen-Z halfway.
They Are Accepting and Inclusive
The traditional Caucasian picture of an ideal life is gone. More and more families around the world are multiracial, making Gen-Z a firm proponent of diversity and inclusivity. That mindset doesn’t end at race – it extends across genders, sexual preferences, and religion. For your marketing strategy to work it must recognize that and be as inclusive as possible.
Generation Z is a demographic of acceptance and fair treatment. Where once employees were worked to the bone, modern companies put great importance on physical and mental health. To approach this generation properly, you must understand that they care.
They Want Brands with a Sense of Purpose
It’s easier than ever before to start and run a small business. That has been a boon to consumers around the world. Now, more than ever before, they are spoiled for choice. Due to this wealth of options, Gen-Z is notoriously picky. They’re not just looking for a good deal monetarily, they want to get a good moral and ethical deal.
This means having a company with a sense of purpose. You can’t just sell them on the features – you must tell them about the many benefits of buying from you. Tell them who they’re helping, like your employees who you offer special training to. Let them know what charities you support. Make them understand that buying from you doesn’t just get them a product, it makes the world a better place.
They Have Short Attention Spans
Gen-Z has a lot on their plate. Everywhere they look, someone is telling a story, someone is selling them something, or someone just put up another video of their cat. That has made their attention spans short, in the area of 8 seconds. If something doesn’t immediately catch their attention, they can move on to the next post or show.
If your small business wants to get their attention, your message must be succinct and concise. This is a difficult task. Boiling concepts such as your mission and product down to a short video or tweet can lead to oversimplification, which can sell you short. What works for many companies is to have an eye-catch or something that gets their interest. Striking imagery or a strong opening line can do that.
They Want Honesty
Generation Z is a highly informed demographic. Learning is everywhere. They can look up whatever they want, whenever they want. Unsubstantiated statements will often be called out. They catch you lying or being inaccurate, they’ll never let you or the world forget it. They will challenge you to live up to your promises and claims.
For your small business to attract them, you and your company must have integrity. That means ethical employee practices, transparency, and open communication at all times. For some companies, this means sustainable development. For others, it means minimizing their environmental impact. Think about what this means for your small business.
They Want Community
Generation Z loves community and collaboration. They don’t want to be told how something is a solution, they want to be part of it. Crowdfunding, for example, makes them feel like they have a choice on what products or offerings are made. They feel like they have a say on what solutions are provided to the people.
This is great news for your small business. What used to be an internal struggle is now a shared one. Kickstarting your product no longer implies that you couldn’t find something elsewhere. It’s now a collaborative venture. This is especially valuable if you’re in a niche market and great for starting a community.
Generation Z is a unique demographic, one your small business cannot approach blindly. You must treat it with care. Fortunately, the generation’s demands are actually good for your business. Their need for something greater to come from buying your product, for example, forces you to look beyond profit as your primary goal. Embrace their needs and desires, and your small business will thrive.