An Open Letter From Generation Z
I am 18 years old, born in 1995, I am right in between Gen Z and Gen Y. I offer a unique perspective on this because I am part of Gen Z but I work at a marketing agency with Gen Y, Boomers, etc.. I know you are struggling with how to sell to us, so let me tell you what we’re looking for.
A little bit about myself
For as long as I have known internet was accessible, my parents both work in the tech field so there is a constant stream of the latest technology into my house. I am more comfortable in front of a computer, phone, and tablet than any other medium. I don’t watch anything on a TV any more, I don’t read very much on paper, I don’t listen to the radio, everything I consume is through the internet. I prefer my information shown to me in 140 characters or less, I’ll take an interesting 4 minute Youtube/ Vimeo video over a 2 hour movie, I like GIF’s (pronounced JIF), Vines, and Snapchat.
How do you gain my loyalty?
My generation is smart and quick, we know when you’re b*********ing us because we have access to millions of pages of information at a moments notice. That means we like honest brands, we like ethical, we like brands that respect the environment. We don’t want you hiding what you’ve done, just acknowledge it and fix it, we do not want you to spy on us, we’ve seen this NSA and Snowden scandal unfold and we know how powerful the internet is so do not even think about pulling a fast one on us. We will buy promoted tweets, and create viral videos to expose you.
What are we buying?
My generation doesn’t buy products, we buy lifestyles. We need to buy into the lifestyle you offer, do you throw parties? Do you help our community? When I buy something I know that it speaks to who I am and so I will only purchase it from you IF the lifestyle your brand sells is what I want my lifestyle to be like.
The internet has made it increasingly easy to “create” a lifestyle, I can stream, live tweet, and snapchat any event I decide to host, I can make promo videos, look books and conduct interviews. This is great but if I can do it so can anyone else and there are a lot of people trying to sell to us. So when creating the lifestyle behind your product/ service it needs to be unique, inspiring, and it should probably contribute to our community in some way (remember we like ethical).
How do you sell to us?
DIGITAL! Snapchat, did you know 77% of college students use it so imagine how many 12 year olds use it, now did you know that 1% of brands use Snapchat, hop on. Instagram, but be strategic with paid ad space on Instagram (uniform ad units don’t work), cultivate a loyal following of people that truly want to engage with and share your content. Build a loyal and strong following that will defend your brand on social media.
We live for experiences, we’ve witnessed the effects of fast food, fast fashion, etc… we don’t just want your products we want the experience. Throw an event, sponsor a festival, help strengthen a community and get us (your customer) involved in it.
The internet is your gateway to us, we want quick easily consumable information, pictures and short videos, not essays. We want you to be honest with us, we want you to be respectful of everything and everyone. We don’t care about your product, we care about your story.
What does your brand stand for? and why should I stand behind it.