Stop comparing Generation Z to Millennials. They have been raised in a drastically different environment and expect very different things from themselves and the world around them.
Gen Z is looking to shake the status quo. Brands will no longer be able to promote a vision of a perfect world with their products and services. This group of teens and tweens are well aware of the unique reality around them. They’re the first generation of true digital natives with a global mindset and an eagerness to create a better world themselves.
Brands have been able to get by looking at social and digital analytics and gaging the success of campaigns for Millennials on those statistics. Creating brand loyalty with Gen Z will be a completely different ball game; think about trying to compare “Go-Fish” to “Risk.”
All you have to do is look at their behavior. 81% of teenagers are on social media. 93% of Gen Z say they visit YouTube at least once a week, and 54% visit the site multiple times throughout the day. Gen Z also uses Twitter (26%), Google+ (26%), and Instagram (17%) on a weekly basis (via Mashable). On top of this, the value of SnapChat has climbed to $19 billion as Gen Z uses it to engage with their favorite brands.
Two-way communications with honest representations of a brand’s mission are the only ways any brand can expect to stay relevant. Gen Z will boast the smartest group of consumers the world has ever seen. These kids are having international conversations, expect to engage with brands anywhere they go, and will do their research before making any purchase. Gone are the days of relying on impulse purchases and illogical brand loyalty.
The digital landscape for them is not a cool new tool or trend. It’s their home. It’s the only world they’ve ever known. If brands anticipate reaching them the same way they’ve reached Millennials, they’re already behind the curve.