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Gen Z explained for marketers.

Gen Z used to be neglected by marketers when they wanted to target a large audience, but now that this generation has reached adulthood and entered the workforce, their purchasing power has grown exponentially. Even if they have very specific tastes compared to previous generations, their influence is felt everywhere. Gen Z creates trends, is very present online, drives innovation and is very loyal, which can greatly influence the success of a brand.

Gen Z’s influence extends beyond their own demographic. They often influence the purchasing decisions of older generations, including Millennials and Generation X. Therefore, understanding Gen Z can also benefit marketers targeting a broader audience.

Gen Z basics.

Generation Z is typically defined as individuals born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s. They are the cohort succeeding Millennials and are characterized by their digital nativism, social consciousness, and penchant for authenticity. Also, they are the first generation to be fully immersed in the digital age from a young age.

Growing up in an era marked by rapid technological advancements and societal changes, Gen Z is known for their fluency in digital platforms and devices, their strong commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability, and their preference for personalized and authentic experiences. Gen Z is reshaping consumer behaviors and cultural norms and they can be a bit difficult to please.

Key Characteristics of Gen Z.

Digital Natives.

Their proficiency in using various digital platforms and devices allows them to consume and create content effortlessly. They are active participants in online communities and are constantly connected to information and entertainment sources.

Socially Conscious.

Generation Z is known for their strong commitment to social justice and environmental sustainability. They are passionate about making a positive impact on the world and expect the same from the brands they support.

Individuality and Authenticity.

Gen Z values authenticity in marketing campaigns and brands. They are skeptical of traditional advertising tactics and gravitate towards brands that are genuine and transparent in their communication. They seek personalized experiences and products that resonate with their unique identities and interests.

Short Attention Spans.

Capturing Gen Z’s attention in a fast-paced digital environment can be challenging due to their short attention spans and constant exposure to content. Reaching them requires messaging and content to stand out amidst the noise and deliver engaging and concise messages.

Marketing Strategies for Gen Z.

Embrace Diversity and Inclusivity.

Representing diversity in marketing campaigns is essential for connecting with Gen Z, who value inclusivity and representation. Brands should showcase diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and identities in their advertising to reflect the richness and diversity of their audience.

Examples of brands that have successfully embraced inclusivity include Nike’s “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, which sparked conversations about social justice and empowerment, and Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign, which celebrates diversity and challenges beauty standards.

Dove campaign. Source:

Create Authentic Content.

Authenticity is paramount when targeting Gen Z. Brands should focus on genuine storytelling and transparency, avoiding overly polished or contrived content. Authenticity builds trust and credibility with this audience, who are adept at spotting inauthentic marketing tactics.

Tips for creating authentic content include highlighting real customer stories and experiences, showcasing behind-the-scenes glimpses of the brand, and being transparent about values, practices, and processes. An example is Glossier, a makeup brand that is known for its transparent communication with customers.

Glossier campaign. Source:

Utilize Social Media Platforms.

Gen Z spends a significant amount of time on social media platforms, making them crucial channels for reaching this audience. Popular platforms among Gen Z include TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.

To effectively leverage these platforms, marketers should tailor content to suit each platform’s unique format and audience preferences. For example, Red Bull tailors its content for different platforms, with high-quality, action-packed videos on Youtube and short video content challenges, user-generated content, and viral trends on TikTok.

Engage in Purpose-Driven Marketing.

Gen Z is passionate about social and environmental issues, and they expect brands to take a stand on these issues as well. Purpose-driven marketing involves aligning with causes that matter to Gen Z, demonstrating a commitment to making a positive impact on society.

Brands that have successfully incorporated purpose-driven marketing include Patagonia, known for its environmental activism and sustainability initiatives, Ben & Jerry’s, which champions social justice causes through its campaigns and advocacy efforts.

Patagonia campaign. Source:

Our conclusion.

Generation Z represents a significant and influential consumer segment with substantial purchasing power and unique preferences. Also, Generation Z not only spends money on themselves but also influences family spending decisions, making them key drivers of household purchasing patterns. So the next time you’re thinking about your target audience, don’t stop at millennials. Gen Z must be considered because their opinion matters, in marketing and beyond.

If you need a marketing team to help you update your strategy, leave us a message.


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