If your brand is not yet targeting Generation Z, maybe it’s time you should be! Gen Z—individuals between 11 and 26 years old—now have an estimated $4.4 trillion in global spending power. 

For perspective, that’s more than the GDP of the entire United Kingdom!

Unlike Millennials who experienced the rise of technology, Gen Z grew up online. They’re tech-savvy, innovation-seeking, and used to having the world just one click away. And the day their spending power exceeds that of Baby Boomers and Millennials (a day sure to come soon!), we can expect digital marketing to take on a whole new level of importance.

So what does Gen Z really want in a brand? How can your business tap into this expanding market—and develop lifelong loyal customers as a result? Snapchat has a few ideas worth considering, and we’ve got a few data-backed insights of our own. 

Gen Z has high standards for quality and social change.

According to a study commissioned by Snapchat, the majority of Gen Z shoppers look for three main things in the brands they support:

  • Fair labor policies and positive treatment of employees
  • A healthy and inclusive workplace culture
  • Sustainable manufacturing practices

The study also revealed that about 75% of Gen Z shoppers will be more loyal to a company that, “speaks to social issues, posts information, or has advertisements about social change.”

This generation supports brands striving to make a difference—not just money. 

Gen Z resonates with purpose-driven messaging.

It’s not enough for brands to promote a laundry list of their product features and benefits. Gen Z connects with the purpose behind your brand. When your brand message focuses internally, on who you are and why you’re unique, Gen Z tunes out. But when your digital marketing tells the story of the change your brand is actively driving, for your customers, your community, and in the world, Gen Z listens

Gen Z values authenticity—in your marketing, in your purpose, and in your actions in the community. And brands don’t have to use Gen Z’s lingo to make an emotional connection. Sharing the meaning behind your initiatives, and the changes you’re striving to make in the world, is enough to catch their attention. 

Gen Z supports brands that speak to their four key values.

Every generation has a different set of values and preferences that drive their purchases. For Baby Boomers, quality is king. What they buy, they expect to buy once. For Millennials, name brands matter and knockoffs are noticed. And Gen Z? Four key values drive their purchase decisions.

YPulse, a research company that focuses on following Gen Z and Millennial trends, says these four value pillars define how Gen Z sees the world—and the brands building it:

  • Every day can be exceptional. Gen Z values brands that make everyday activities feel a little more special. They expect personalized experiences, tailored products, and one-on-one services.
  • It’s better to save than to spend. While this generation may have multi-trillion dollar spending power, they’re not necessarily using it to splurge. Young people have seen the 2008 crisis and the pandemic wipe out fortunes and sour the stock market. And as a result, they’re thrifty. This group seeks brands that offer above-and-beyond benefits for the cost. 
  • Community matters. Whether online or in person, Gen Z values the sense of community and belonging that comes from being a part of a niche, targeted group. They gravitate towards like-minded communities and safe spaces where they can connect on what ties them together. 
  •  Authenticity is everything. Gen Z can spot—and boycott—phony brands in half a second. Companies that appear to support causes like equality, equity, and sustainability, but don’t walk the talk, risk winding up on the generation’s blacklist.

Brands that share these core values are likely to resonate with Gen Z. But brands that constantly chase the latest trends, or appear overpriced and over-hyped, are likely to get lost in the noise. 

When it comes to targeting this values-driven audience, you’ve got one chance to get it right.

Gen Z is as opinionated as they are loyal. That’s why brands hoping to break into this young community can’t afford a misstep or missed opportunity. With MediaSpark on your team (and our expert and data-backed digital marketing strategies on your side!) you can tap into Gen Z’s trillion-dollar budget—and power the next decade of your business’ growth. Chat with our team to learn what’s possible!