Think Visual with Gen Z
You can’t keep hiding from the fact that Gen Z is here. You can stop complaining about millennials (many millennials are turning 40 this year); you have a new generation active in the marketplace.
Who is Gen Z? Great question. Pew Research defines them as anyone born from 1997 onward. The oldest of the cohort is turning 22 this year. The youngest Gen Z is around 7. By the way, there is no authority deciding the name of each generation. Usage inertia decides which generation title wins, and the judges are made up of the press, dictionaries and pop culture.
According to a study by Information Resources Inc. (IRI) from Chicago, Gen Z has grown up with “unprecedented — and immediate — access to information.” Gen Z is the true on-demand generation. They have grown up with Amazon and grocery store deliveries. Another key insight is that Gen Z is highly visual. Discovery is replacing brand loyalty. Your “interesting” story will be important in talking with Gen Z. According to IRI, “They are keenly aware of product packaging and the messages it sends. Connections between what brands say and their packaging relay immediate cues to authenticity (or the lack of it).”
Gen Z will disrupt the world. IRI summed it up like this: “Cultural diversity and its commitment to individuality, human rights and equality will be the disruptive hallmarks of this generation. … It is inclusive. It isn’t about choosing A or B, it is about having the option to choose A and B.”
IRI found that Trader Joe’s is a strong brand for Gen Z. The reasons for liking Trader Joe’s give you insight into how Gen Z is viewing the world.
Gen Z believes at Trader Joe’s:
- The experience matches the hype
- The store is not trying too hard to communicate
- It feels safe, approachable and local
- Quality and value intersect
- Packaging is gender and identity neutral
At AMPERAGE, we have always championed the value of being real and authentic in your marketing. It’s more time- consuming and more expensive, yet Gen Z will demand it.
Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.