1st year master’s student
Almaty Management University
Generation Y has been creating and shaping the environment for themselves, but the time has come, and their place has been taken by those who were born in the period from 1995 to 2010 — generation Z. Young people, who are now 12-24 years old, seize the territories of Y generation and adjust everything they have created for themselves. They take the Internet more seriously, use social networks pragmatically, and have made blogs and games a serious business. Over time, technology improves, interests and values change, followed by purchasing habits and consumption style. The younger generation is most open to the new — it is often called Generation Z or zoomers. According to World estimates for 2019, zoomers make up 23% of the population. Many of them have already matured, got a job, started earning and spending money — for the market, this is quite a large part of the consumer audience. And it’s not so much in quantity as in activity — in 2020, zoomers made 40% of all purchases . Ignoring their interests and consumption culture by companies and marketers is equivalent to giving up an impressive part of the profit. This essay will discuss how generation Z differ from other generations, features of consumer behavior and examples with tips.
Generation z and how they differ from other generations
New digital technologies were born and developed together with generation Z. According to the theory of generations (2021), the terms «Generation Z» and «Zoomers» refer to those who were born from 1997 to 2009, in some sources — to 2010. In fact, both 10-year-olds who are in high school, and more adults 19-20 years old who are already active in the labor market, and 25-year-olds are generation Z .
Zoomers are more literate in terms of electronics than their parents. They grew in parallel with the development of digital technologies, hence such a love for the Internet, smartphones, social networks. It is not surprising that people of this generation prefer electronic content to books and newspapers — books in electronic form and digital photos, news in the social media feed, videos on YouTube, and live communication — communication via the Internet and modern means of communication.
The zoomers are flexible and free. They easily give up what has become worse and what violates their personal space. For example, they will never engage in an unloved business, they will never kill themselves at work until they burn out and hold on to it if they are humiliated or uncomfortable there. The same applies to things that have ceased to perform their functions and are easier to replace with new ones, to friends with whom it has become unpleasant to communicate, to solving other tasks. This is a generation that is as free as possible from prejudices and other people’s opinions. They strive to get rid of what complicates their life and work and love everything that makes it easier. Including mobile applications, subscriptions, online purchases using voice assistant.
Unlike the older generation, the Z people give much more importance not to some formal things that they usually do «for show», «to be», but to those that really help to develop, effectively solve problems, independently master new hard skills and apply for a dream job. These are emotional intelligence and communication skills, personal qualities and openness to new things. It cannot be said that buzzers are against the educational system. They are in favor of getting theory and skills that will be useful to them at the moment.
In terms of information perception, zoomers consume content extremely quickly — this is a feature of their behavior. For example, a person of generation Z needs 7 seconds to perceive the same amount of information, which a millennial will need one and a half times more to understand — 12-15 seconds (Mariya, 2021).
However, this does not mean illiteracy or detachment from the world of generation Z. Zoomers responsibly approach solving problems and appreciate useful information, but they only perceive it in their own way and prefer modern ways of obtaining it: the Internet, social networks, messengers.
Features of consumer behavior
For marketers and business owners, understanding the nuances and personality quirks of each generation is part of the fun and part of the challenge. Understanding each audience helps us craft the right message on the right channels and a deep demographic dive is especially important if young people comprise a big portion of the audience you market to.
They may all look young, but millennials and members of the subsequent Generation Z are markedly different in how they shop, interact with brands, and view money.
Zoomers, like millennials, are a generation of consumers. They like to spend money on entertainment, especially on gadgets. It’s no longer surprising to see a young child grab a parent’s iPhone and seamlessly swipe and navigate to his or her favorite app or social network. The speed and adaptability with which Gen Z uses technology far surpasses that of previous generations. Gadgets for them are not a luxury, but the first necessity, without which communication with the world is lost. If millennials got their first smartphones closer to the age of 20, then the new generation has literally grown up with gadgets in their hands. Therefore, young people of this age are also commonly referred to as «digital people» and «digital generation» . Then there are 3 more important features that you should pay attention to.
- Reject the traditional career path. They do not believe in the reliability of employment and in favor of a long-term university education. Generation Z prefers to study online and appreciates entrepreneurial qualities and wants to develop them in itself, dreams of launching startups and changing traditional systems.
- Communicate with brands in social networks. Generation Z is more likely to contact brands on social networks, place orders there and collect product reviews. They are not fixated on one social network, but often separate them by function. On Instagram — inspiration and demonstration of your ideal image, in Snapchat — unfiltered content, for news — Twitter.
- They believe micro-influencers more than celebrities. Generation Z trusts bloggers more, who have become famous only because of their content on the Web. They also believe bloggers who don’t have many subscribers, but who produce interesting and «soulful content». Traditional celebrities who have become famous thanks to movies and TV do not have such an influence .
At the same time, it is more difficult to sell a product to a zoomers. The time between choosing a product and purchasing it from Generation Z is very long. The tendency to read reviews and study the world wide web for the characteristics of the desired product is characteristic of all consumers, but for zoomers this happens even if they choose such insignificant things as sweets and soap. They want to get as much information as possible about the brand and the product they purchase. Representatives of Generation Z do not perceive standard, aggressive marketing methods and appreciate a sincere and honest approach. The Zetas want to see real emotions and stories of people, not bright, perfect pictures. For them, not only the product itself is important, but also the purchase process, the act of consumption. Zoomers pay attention to the brand’s «infrastructure» – access to the brand’s services after purchase, its image, channels of communication with the consumer before and after the product was purchased. The product in the understanding of zoomers becomes part of a whole system of services, which in turn unites consumers in the community.
In addition, generation Z can easily postpone the purchase if a more advanced model is planned to be released in the near future. It is not a problem for them to purchase a product they like on international trading platforms like Amazon, even if it was already in use.
Tips and examples for marketing to generation Z
Historically, marketing to younger customers has been tricky. Demographic data can be difficult to track. Marketing trends come and go. That said, the outspoken and chronically online nature of Gen Z makes learning their buying behavior much less of a guessing game. Treating Gen Z like a singular block is a surefire way to come off as out of touch. It’s also key that brands learn to bridge the gap between Gen Z and other generations, including Millennials. For all the similarities the two generations share, connecting with members of Gen Z starts with understanding their distinct online behaviors and social preferences . Marketers who want to engage with these consumers, particularly as they mature and their purchasing power increases, should keep the following tips in mind:
- Communicate authentically and transparently. This generation does its homework. Gen Zers do their research and understand that much of the content they see on social networks is sponsored advertising. They have less trust in big corporations and more trust in online consumer reviews and recommendations from family and friends.
- Be concise and use this generation’s medium of choice: video. Marketers have approximately eight seconds to capture the attention of Gen Zers before they scroll down.
- Take a mobile-first strategy. Members of this generation are on their phones more than on a desktop, so focus first on mobile apps.
- Appeal to Gen Zers’ social morals and values. Highlight your organization’s community investment initiatives and employ social influencers who share the same values
- Emphasize eye-catching, visual content. Given Gen Z’s appetite for short-form video content, marketers should consider incorporating visual platforms into their strategies and developing bite-sized content like Instagram Stories.
- Showcase your brand’s sense of humor. This might sound like a no-brainer, but the majority of Gen Z want to support brands that they see as “fun” and “cool.”
Few companies have managed to win the hearts of zoomers so far, but analyzing successful cases, we can highlight the key features of new consumers .
Dyson has come up with the perfect loyalty program in China. Each product has a QR code that collects information about the buyer after scanning. The company takes into account the data received from the client, and therefore personalizes all subsequent communications: video instructions, reminders, and so on. The Zetas like that the brand takes on the concerns of consumers and personalizes their experience.
Kylie Cosmetics has ridden the trend for masks on Instagram. Perhaps there is no more famous influencer in the whole Instagram than Kylie Jenner with 21 million subscribers. Her cosmetic brand has remained in the top of popularity in social networks for all five years of its existence, and marketing based on the maximum involvement of Zetas plays an important role in this. Kylie Cosmetics builds trusting relationships with young consumers, involving them in the creation of UGC and giving the most personalized content .
Centenials are a generation of digital natives, or «digital aborigines» . They communicate, work, buy and have fun online. Centenials love technology and are interested in testing new application features and the most modern gadgets. Marketing professionals will pay more attention to digital and social platforms as Generation Z begins to become a mainstream audience. There is an important factor – social influence, that encourages companies to pay more attention to marketing for generation Z. Social influence means using microblogging on sites like Instagram and YouTube to promote and promote everything from beliefs and events to consumer products.
Online opinion leaders are often authentic, interesting, and profitable. Representatives of Generation Z are ready to occupy this space and become the next influencers on social networks. To stay on top of their companies, marketers need to establish long-term relationships with influencers who share common values.
By taking the time to learn about Gen Z’s preferences and what makes them unique compared to other generations, brands stand to build valuable relationships that benefit all parties involved.
A new generation of users is bringing their own laws to advertising and communication. If we structure all the data that we know about generation Z, then we can come to the conclusion that it makes sense to integrate gamification, develop attractive loyalty and reward programs, create an emotional connection and more personal, personal communication with the consumer.
Heike Y. Content strategy director. (2021, January 25). Millennials vs. Gen Z: How Are They Different? Retrieved from https://www.salesforce.com/blog/how-millennials-and-gen-z-are-different/
Cilina K. Marketing. (2021, September 3). Marketing for zoomers: what and how to sell to the younger generation. Retrieved from https://yagla.ru/blog/marketing/marketing-dlya-zumerov-chto-i-kak-prodavat-molodomu-pokoleniyu—2109m94955/
Mariya S. Content-marketing. (2021, February 21). What kind of advertising is needed for digital natives or generation Z. Retrieved from https://news.pressfeed.ru/reklama-dlya-cifrovyx-aborigenov/
Katherine K. Social Media Engagement. ( 2021, July 27). How to make sure you’re marketing to Gen Z the right way. Retrieved from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/marketing-to-gen-z/ Thomas J. (2020, November 3). 10 vital strategies to use when marketing to generation Z. Retrieved from https://www.oberlo.com/blog/marketing-strategies-generation-z