Now before you turn the page or click the back button, this is not a vain piece written by a college liberal or a self-hate piece written by a college conservative.
We are glad you are enjoying Advertising Age. To get uninterrupted access and additional benefits, become a member today. Log in or go back to the homepage. Published on January 21, Over the past few years, marketers across all industries and categories have been obsessed with millennials -- how to reach them and build meaningful connections with their brands.
This captivating generation has a unique sense of self and a nontraditional approach to life stages, which has made marketing to them a challenge. But perhaps even more challenging is the next generation on the rise -- Gen Z.
If marketers thought they threw out the playbook with millennials, they need to know that Gen Zers aren't even playing on the same field. Gen Z Defined Gen Z consumers range from ages 2 to 19, though the target range for marketers lies from ages 11 to Gen Z is the most diverse and multicultural of any generation in the U.
First, Gen Zers are the least likely to believe there is such a thing as the "American Dream. Gen Zers simply don't respond to these traditional notions of beauty or a projected image of perfection like past generations have. They respond to independence and entrepreneurialism, self-direction and a spirit of ingenuity.
Brands like Free People independence is implied in the name are targeting Gen Zers with messages along these lines and a bohemian aesthetic, and it's working. Millennials expect success; Gen Zers make their own Millennials are the generation of customer service -- such as the creation of the Apple Genius Bar -- to solve problems at any moment.
They design their own, unconventional paths, yet they anticipate consistent success and hand-holding along the way.
Gen Z is a generation of highly-educated, technologically-savvy, innovative thinkers.
They look for solutions on their own. They set out to make things on their own. With this level of self-direction and purpose, it's no surprise then that Gen Zers also want to form their own style. They challenge traditional ideas of use, form and function when it comes to all facets of style and design.
Brands should market their fashions and products with an understanding that Gen Zers will want to make each piece their own, and a message that that's exactly how they intended it. Retailers must create products and marketing that empower these teens to be their best selves.
They must also create places -- stores, websites, online communities -- where Gen Zers feel welcome walking in and logging in, and feel just as wonderful walking out and checking out. Brands that offer goods and an experience that help Gen Zers define and express their individuality and lifestyle will succeed with this group.
Millennials have embraced technology; Gen Zers are digital natives Yes, millennials grew up with computers in their homes. But Gen Z is the first generation born into a digital world. They don't know a world without PCs, mobile phones, gaming devices and MP3 players.
They live online, sharing details of their lives across dozens of platforms and dictating what they like and dislike with a tweet, post or status. And Gen Zers expects to virtually engage with their favorite brands in doing so.
So brands can't simply "embrace technology" as millennials have. They must act digitally native, too, creating a seamless and strong overarching brand experience across in-store, digital and mobile. It is shocking how few retailers have achieved this.
To reach Gen Zers, it is paramount to reach them through two-way conversations, which are initiated online.
An authentic digital and social presence as well as a slew of complimentary digital experiences in which Gen Z fans can engage with and share their brand allegiance is perhaps the best currency a retailer could generate.
Generation Z is open-minded and adaptable, not a group known for fixed opinions or inflexibility. And, with an estimated 72 million people in this demographic, brands would be wise to broaden their horizons to include Gen Z in their thinking. Brands that build careful marketing strategies that connect with the values of the younger set and offer a better digital experience both online and in-store will be successful among this new, young, powerful generation.The coined “neglected middle child” by Pew Research Center, Gen X is stuck between the once-largest generation in American history, the Boomers, and the generation who is even larger, the Millennials.
Born An idealist generation, often stressed out. Some sources suggest true baby boomers were born between to after World War II to experience the pop media revolution and the ideal of peace in our times. The concept is the same. Its the generation born of the internet with expectations of everything being on demand, who were coddled by their hippy parents and duped into thinking they could do anything.
Before that was Generation X. Generation X was born between and Most of the silent generation members I have spoken to about Millennials and by the way, Boomers as well, think that anyone younger than them is morally bankrupt, foolish, uneducated, makes poor choices about jobs, are bad with money and don’t understand how the world works.
Joe blasts (verbally) the hippie generation then (literally) lays down with them to infiltrate their numbers to locate Compton's daughter - when clearly he should have been repulsed by the idea but forgoes the separatist idea for the sake of sex.
I was born in '81 but I considered to be a Xennial, not quite Gen X, but definitely not the millennial generation, my first phone was a brick Nokia in college in 99/ My first experience with email and internet was AOL and juno mail.