Baby Steps Towards Online Branding for Gen Z

Baby steps towards online branding for Gen Z

Gen Z has a few traits that stand out – It is demanding, digitally native, does not mind spending, has a voice and influence. While creating social media strategies, these are points that are often not given weight, and many brands are not able to resonate with this audience. In this blog, let’s discuss about some basics you need covered while designing your social media strategy.

Gen Z likes multiple touchpoints

This generation is digitally native, that is unlike the other generations who spent their childhood playing minesweeper and hearts on a windows machine running Windows 95 and suffered through the frustration of a dial-up internet; these guys were digital first. The introduction of these devices at an early age has made them treat the internet as their playground. As a social media strategist or manager, you need to understand their playground well and try to make friends with them in this place. The usual Facebooks and twitters will not be enough, therefore you need to work on the breadth, not only the depth.

 

Stand up for something

There is information everywhere, and so are opinions (though most of them suck and are presented by incompetent people). Gen Z is a very confident generation and has its own opinions and a different approach is required to make them loyal followers. You need to have a brand that stands up for something, consider the example of the Nike campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick – check our CNBC take on the campaign here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yvkf88eSTrI

(there are multiple such examples, but this own got the kings share of P.R. hence is a more popular one). If your brand does not stand for anything, then it becomes less and less relatable, leading to decreased loyalty.

 

Put your money where your mouth is

Gen Z is aware of global warming, sustainability, social responsibilities, and ethics and takes these issues seriously. The future belongs to them, and the sooner you realize this, the better it is. You cannot sell a product if it is destroying the forests in some parts of the world or leading to oil spills killing thousands of aquatic plants and animals. Take an example of Greta Thunberg, she has 2.8 million followers on Twitter and more than 1.5 million views on her Ted talk. Now if you think you can be socially irresponsible and get away with it, that is not going to happen going forward.

 

Quality costs money

Gen Z is smart and informed and has the purchasing power. However, it is extremely conscious of the quality of the product/service.  There are certain demographics and geographies where even substandard quality and service could work, those trends are already changing. Gen Z is extremely influential and words spread faster now, thereby making or breaking brands in a matter of days. Your product is not something that is packed in a box, it is a combination of your messaging, customer experience, what you stand for, your reviews (more importantly the negative ones and how you dealt with them), actual offering, after-sales services, continuous engagement to name a few things that constitute a product.

 

Omni channel presence, offline, online

We have used the word digitally native a couple of times in this article, now many of you might be wondering that if Gen Z is the future, and all (majority) of their shopping is being done online, then does it make sense to even have an offline store? Why not just have an online store and concentrate on that? Maybe 10-15 years from that might be an approach that brands will be forced to take, but at this point in time, I can confidently say that offline stores are not going anywhere. There is an important part that I left out in the previous point when discussing the elements of a product – Experiential. With the closure of many retail stores in the US, the general perception is that offline is dying, whereas that’s not the case; the bigger, more disorganized stores are closing. The stores are becoming smaller, more intimate, and in some cases decentralized aiming at serving the tastes of the local community leading to a better relationship with Gen Z.

 

If you have a brand that is currently exploring your fit with Gen Z, then do get in touch with us to share your stories at contactus@dignitasdigital.com

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