Are Gen Zers “Millennials on Steroids”?

“They may all look young. However, generation z and millennials greatly differentiate themselves in how they engage with brands, how they shop and behave.”

Millennials are emerging as power players and leaders of today’s economy. In the same time, Generation Z will take a major presence in the professional and online education market. (For reference, Gen Z is the newest generation. They are currently between 4-24 years old. Millennials are between 25 and 37 years old). Following are 5 key differences between Millennials and Generation Z.

#1 Authenticity

You probably already know that Millennials prefer brands that focus on transparency and a high standard of work ethics. However, Gen Z is even more focussed on authenticity. A great example to demonstrate this, is the company American Eagle. They recently implemented a “no photoshop” policy. Reason for this is that lower quality imagery appears more attainable to Gen Z and thus performed way better than overly polished, fake photos. 

If you are a business, consider leveraging influencer marketing, as this appears to be an authentic way to sell to younger generations, via trendsetters they already respect.

#2 In-store vs online shopping

It is not a secret that Millennials are professional and passionate online shoppers. They pull out their smartphones anytime they want something new. Surprisingly, Gen Z actually prefers to shop in stores. They like to feel and see products in person to make sure that quality and look align with their expectations. Besides, they are keen on unique experiences that happen in stores (like beauty classes at a makeup store). 

If you have physical store locations, think about how you can attract and bring Gen Z into your stores with “instagramable” and unique experiences.

#3 Brand awareness vs. independence

When Millennials were in middle and high school, many of them wore clothing with the most trending brands. This was perceived as fashionable. However, Gen Z, thinks differently. They do not want to be defined by a brand other than their own. Instead, this generation celebrates their independence and individuality. Teens use social media to find communities they can identify themselves with.

The best marketing strategy for Generation Z is to celebrate their individuality. This can be achieved through showing customers that they can be whatever and whoever they want, without trying to prescribe a specific or too-narrow image.

#4 Experiences vs. products

Despite being close in age, Millennials and Gen Z customers do not necessarily value the same things. While Gen Y prefer “experiences over things”, younger generations prefers the opposite. Cool, personalized products, underlining their individuality and giving them the possibility to express their own personality, is the way to go with Gen Zers.

#5 Saving money vs experiences

Gen Z grew up in a time of economic turmoil. As a result, they spend less and save more money than Millennials. Additionally, they are attracted to making purchases that maximize the value of each dollar spent. Millennials are more eager to invest in experiences than buying products.

When marketing to Gen Z, brands should ideally focus on high-quality products and offer special deals (such as free shipping).

Final words

In order to appeal to Gen Z, brands cannot simply replicate the concepts used to sell to Millennials. Without engaging with Gen Z the right way, brands will fail to successfully maintain their online presence. In order to engage and reach the newest generation, businesses need to understand the specific characteristics and develop new strategies.

Lindsett Consulting helps individuals, start-ups & corporates adapt to generational shifts through personalized trainings & coaching. If you’d like support to solve challenges inside your organization, please feel free to contact us.

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