As marketers, we all know we need to keep learning about millennials. But now is also the perfect time to start focusing on Generation Z.
Especially for those of us targeting the health-conscious. Generation Z has a whole new relationship with food and cooking for them isn’t a have-to, it’s a want-to. If your brand can win their hearts now, their wallets will soon follow, and so will your brand’s future.
What’s the big deal about Generation Z?
They’re not using old school recipes, instead they’re “intuitive cooks.” With everything available at the touch of a screen, a Gen Z’er can whip up a whole meal by looking at a picture online. And as the most ethnically diverse generation, nearly 50% non-caucasian, the consumption of ethnic foods is their norm. Their diversity is a driving factor for food culture trends and it amplifies their desire to explore authentic and global food experiences. To really figure out what resonates them, food brands might look to categories that are already doing a great job engaging this audience.
How can we reach Gen Z in a way that really connects?
We need to reach out to Gen Z with targeted messaging that feels very personal. Authentic communication is such a crucial part of this relationship. In fact, close to 80% of them have stated just how important it is. As digital natives, they are the first generation exposed to digital from birth. They have short attention spans and are highly visual.
We know this generation is less receptive to traditional digital advertising than earlier generations, so steer clear of sidebars and banner ads. An incredible example of a brand connecting with and engaging with Gen Z is Unilever’s, Axe with the Find Your Magic campaign. Axe targeted young men from Gen Z by acknowledging that the traditional masculine persona is becoming obsolete due to the rejection of rigid stereotypes. The Find Your Magic campaign’s goal was to liberate young men from the pressure of having to build six pack abs and to instead, celebrate whatever makes them uniquely attractive.
Share it all, bare it all to truly connect
Share the story behind your brand. By promoting your brand’s purpose along with its regular content, Gen Z can decide if your brand’s values match their own. Patagonia is already doing this. They’re challenging consumers to think about where their clothing is made through promoting videos of the Patagonia production process and by putting a face behind the people who are actually making their clothing. And Red Bull is doing a great job of targeting Gen Z through shareable experiences on social media. They entertain and engage their consumers with series of cliff diving videos and annual soap box races.
It’s time to dig deeper than ever
As marketers, we need to dig deeper and connect with the underlying motivations of Gen Z’ers, not just skim the surface with their superficial behaviors. If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to digging deeper and finding insights that are truly relevant to this unique generation, I highly recommend our revolutionary new tool, I-Factor™.
If you’re ready to figure out what your food brand should be saying to the next “it” generation? Let’s talk.