Generation Z Wants to Hear from Your Brand

Hal Conick
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways
​What? According to the Cassandra Report, 77% of Generation Z (those born in or after 1995) wants brands to reach out to them with promotions, messaging and offers.

So what? This generation may be young, but they already have billions of dollars to spend. They want to feel a personal connection to the brands they are loyal to and they will not hesitate to end said loyalty if they experience a negative customer service experience, product change or quality issues. 

Now what? It will be important for brands to understand why these consumers use their services or shop with them. Also, it is essential to avoid the temptation to try and pander to this segment, as "trying to seem cool" will likely fall flat on its face. 

February 22, 2016

Just when you were starting to figure out how to market to millennials, here comes Generation Z (possibly on a self-balancing scooter with a selfie stick in hand). 

According to recent data from the Cassandra Report, which analyzes emerging trends and youth behavior, 77% of Generation Z want brands to reach out to them with messaging, offers and promotions. This generation includes those who were born in or after 1995.

Melanie Shreffler, senior editorial director at Cassandra, said that one-to-one relationships with brands are a priority for this younger generation. She told MarketingDive that these consumers want to “feel a personal connection with the brands they buy and support.” In turn, they expect that these brands treat them as people, not just a number.

This is where brands can utilize big data to create a tailored message for consumers. Brands now have more data than ever about their consumers, including recent purchases, age and location. Using that information to better connect with consumers in a personal way could help, but this may mean going beyond what the brand is trying to sell and into what consumers want to consume.

"They should consider not only what the company is getting out of the relationship but also what their young customers are getting out of it to ensure that both parties are benefiting," Shreffler said.

There’s a recent perception that consumer loyalty has gone out the window with younger generations, but the Cassandra report finds quite the opposite. It said 32% of younger consumers across the world say that there are brands to which they will always be loyal.

However, younger consumers may have a shorter attention span, as 23% of millennials said they wouldn’t hesitate to cease loyalty to a brand after a negative customer service experience. In addition, the report found that 34% of these younger consumers might break ties with a brand over issues of quality and 21% over product changes.

Moving forward, Shreffler said it will be essential for brands to understand why these younger consumers favor them. Perhaps even more importantly, brands cannot try too hard to impress or win over Generation Z.

“Young people are hyper aware of brands trying to seem cool, and they don’t like it when their favorite brands jump on trends or change their style too much," she said. 

Author Bio:

Hal Conick
Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at
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