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Is your B2B brand strategy ready for Gen Z?

Is your B2B brand strategy ready for Gen Z?

We all hear a lot about Gen Z in the media. These days, there seems to be a constant commentary on ‘Zoomers’ — the youngest of whom are still children and the oldest in their mid-twenties. We hear how opinionated they are, how different from and sometimes scathing of millennial trends they are, and how their priorities differ from the generations that came before them. 

For business owners, these reports can strike fear, or at the very least bafflement, into their hearts. The spending power of Generation Z is growing rapidly, and businesses may need to shift gears if they are going to stay relevant. If you are selling a service or product to a young adult audience or trying to future-proof your brand, you might feel concerned about whether and how you need to adjust your strategy to suit this consumer group. 

Below are some pointers and tips you can use to ensure your brand strategy is ready for the next generation.

Who is Gen Z?

People broadly refer to Generation Z as the generation born from the mid to late 1990s to the early 2010s. Pew Research put the birth range between 1997 and 2012 for its own research. This puts the age span from kids still in school to adults entering the workforce and gaining their own economic foothold.

The spending power of this cohort is formidable and growing. A Bloomberg report from 2021 reported that Generation Z had $360 billion in disposable income. The same report notes that the trick was getting them to spend it, characterising Gen Z as thoughtful consumers interested in saving and investing as much as a third of their income. 

Research from IBM Institute for Business Value indicated that the influence of young Gen Z-ers extends beyond their own spending power. Despite their youth, IBM’s report noted that Generation Z has “unprecedented influence” over family purchasing decisions. This means that the exacting and careful consumer choices of Generation Z spill out into other consumer groups, making it all the more critical that your marketing strategy has taken their perspective into account.  

Generation Z is the first generation of digital natives, growing up with the internet and smartphones seamlessly built into everyday life. Growing up in the culturally and politically eventful years of the ‘noughties’ and two economic downturns has also guaranteed that they also bring a range of preferences, habits and perspectives that differ from previous generations. 

It is unsurprising, then, that studies consistently reveal that the consumer habits of Generation Z are distinct from millennials and other generations that came before. 

What makes Gen Z different? 

There are some common characteristics that are regularly associated with Gen Z consumer behaviour. These include the following:

  • Tech-savvy digital natives
  • Financially pragmatic and risk-averse
  • Have less brand loyalty and are more likely to research and shop around 
  • Are more impatient
  • Expect a wide choice of products and services
  • Strongly believe in sustainability, social causes and corporate social responsibility
  • Value individualised shopping experiences
  • Value brick-and-mortar shops more than millennials
  • Do their online shopping on smartphones rather than computers or tablets
  • Shop on social media

What brand strategy features appeal to Gen Z?

  • Inclusivity 
  • Concise messaging
  • Authenticity and purpose
  • Seamless presence on social media
  • Distinctive brand and video marketing 
  • Cross-collaboration across brands and platforms
  • Direct customer engagement
  • Transparent data and privacy policies

How can you adjust your marketing plan to suit Gen Z?

  • Maintain up-to-date customer profiles 
  • Embrace data analytics to personalise customer experiences
  • Embrace social media marketing
  • Embrace mobile and omnichannel platform marketing and commerce
  • Carefully consider messaging, social values and CSR

How can you keep up to date?

For Gen Z, the world moves quickly, and trends change in the blink of an eye. Trends, trendsetters, devices, platforms and social media sites can quickly come in and out of favour. Failing to realise when they do could cost your brand its image. 

It is important to embrace data analytics to remain competitive. Research and analytics will help you track Gen Z behaviour, inform strategy and personalise your customer’s experience. 

You can then feed this research and data into customer profiles; this is crucial for adjusting your strategy to your Gen Z customers. By understanding your customer profile, you can address customer pain points and needs. If you keep these updated and respond to any changes, you should be able to solve problems before they arise. 

Each year, you should revisit your customer profiles to ensure they are still accurate and there are no new influences that you should consider for your Gen Z customers. Keep adding to your profiles with new customer data you receive throughout the year. The more detail your customer profiles have, the more effective your marketing strategy will be.

Need help identifying your ideal customer and appealing to those Gen Z customers? Contact us to learn more about how Code Milk can support you with your brand strategy.