Marketers have been encouraged to use different methods if they are looking to engage with the so-called Generation Z – people who were born around the turn of the millennium.

According to Jim Fielding, global head of consumer products and retail at AwesomenessTV, young people in this demographic exhibit many different traits from millennials. For instance, he believes they tend to be far more experimental, innovative and willing to take risks than their older counterparts.

“They’re constantly on the lookout for something different, fresh and exciting,” he commented. “And they want to share it immediately. It’s almost a treasure hunt for them.”

Mr Fielding also pointed out that they purchase goods very differently from those from the previous generation.

“It’s not about going to the mall. They’re shopping digitally, remotely and physically. They’re just constantly looking,” he said.

Megan Hartman, head of the youth division at Red Peak Branding, also highlighted another difference between centennials and millennials. She said people in Generation Z are much more willing to be distinctive than those who were born a few years earlier.

“Standing out is the new fitting in,” she observed. “This generation really is about making your own mark and being an individual.” Ms Hartman

“Standing out is the new fitting in,” Ms Hartman continued. She added that brands such as H&M and Forever 21 are particularly good at helping young people express their individuality and are therefore well-placed to engage with Generation Z.

The US fast food chain, Taco Bell is another organisation that has made a concerted effort to understand the differences between centennials and millennials and adjust its marketing campaigns accordingly.

Melissa Friebe, vice president of Taco Bell’s insights lab, commented: “We found that similar themes are manifesting themselves in different ways. They’ve become even more empowered, entrepreneurial and just creative.”

As a result, Taco Bell has been particularly keen to boost its visibility on new and emerging platforms during the last few months. For instance, it recently unveiled a new product on a live newscast on Periscope (the app that let’s users share and watch videos from a mobile device).

Furthermore, it has sought to align its marketing efforts with notable events and cultural occasions, such as when it offered freebies to customers in the US to mark the Cinco de Mayo celebration. Ms Friebe believes the brand’s willingness to attempt new ways of engaging with consumers has struck a chord with those who were born into a world of technology.

“[Our consumers] are used to living in this world where people are constantly trying something, seeing if it works and making changes,” she commented.

Stung by Millennial Misses, Brands Retool for Gen Z, Advertising Age

Posted by Robin McCrink