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
"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.