What Does Gen Z Want from Brands?

Generation Z (Gen Z) is one of the biggest markets that your business can tap into; according to some reports, there are an estimated 71.7 million people who can be classified as Gen Z, just in America alone. However, people from Gen Z are more challenging to figure out than many other demographics.

Because of that, many business owners have tried to capture part of that market, only to fail; leaving open the question as to what Gen Z wants from brands.

Trust

Trust makes the world go around, and nothing could be more valid for the business world; because of that, you’ll need to establish a significant amount of trust with your potential customers, regardless from which generation they may belong. Currently, trends suggest that potential customers are much more likely to buy your product if they trust your brand, and this is very similar across many generations.

For that reason, if you’re looking to build your customer base, you’ll need to work to build your trust with Gen Z. However, this is something that can be relatively easy to do, even if it does take a while for the results to completely show.

While initial trust may not be a huge quality that your customers seek, building that trust through your interactions with them is a necessity. Even your initial communication, such as social media ads and more, needs to help develop trust and not just gather interest in your product or service.

After all, it doesn’t matter how interested someone from Gen Z is in your product or service if they don’t trust you enough to buy it. Developing that trust is key throughout an entire customer journey, so you’ll need to look at where you can build trust from your initial communication, right on up to any post-sale support that you provide.

One of the biggest things that can break trust is through a faulty product; while nobody tries to develop a business on the backs of shoddy products, occasionally one might slip through the cracks. Focusing on fixing that customer’s product not only develops on trust with them specifically but will also help you develop this trust with many in their family and friends.

After all, if someone has had a terrible experience with your business, they’ll let people know about it. The reverse is also true, however, and providing positive experiences for everyone will help you capitalize on the Gen Z market, as well as every other potential market. Trust isn’t limited to just one niche market; it works wonders no matter who you’re targeting.

Authenticity

Being yourself is something that’s not unique to Gen Z, but it’s something that they value more than many other generations. They also expect this of brands, which means that you may need to project an authentic image of your business. While projecting the right image is a necessity for any marketing, Gen Z looks more toward how ‘real’ the message is coming from your brand. They care less about how much of a following you have, and more about how this message is portrayed.

Many fashion brands are feeling the effects of this scenario but have managed to adapt nicely to what Gen Z and other potential customers are seeking. After all, in recent years fashion brands have begun using more and more diverse people to show off their products; this is more than just different skin types, but also different body types.

This kind of authenticity reflects the different types of potential customers and offers a more ‘real’ version of how products look on real people, and not the fashion models that many people may be accustomed to seeing. This can also be applied to your business, as authenticity resonates with Gen Z, so it’s a matter of making sure that your business is seen as authentic as possible.

When it comes to social media, this generation is also more concerned with quality over quantity; instead of looking at how much of a following you have, they focus on what kind of influencers with whom you partner. Whereas many high-profile accounts many have millions of followers, many in Gen Z can see them as coming off as too polished; on the flip side, they may see you as more ‘real’ if you have a small but active social media following.

Because of their desire for authenticity, the type of content you post on your social media channels is essential. While you would naturally want your product or business to look as nice as possible, potential customers want your posts to be realistic, and this includes ensuring that they’re not overly-Photoshopped.

Having said that, making sure that you’re sending the right message in your marketing also means being as truthful as possible. For example, if your marketing states that you’re pro-LGBT opportunities, then your company culture better reflect that position. If your company is caught in a lie, regardless of what the lie is, it can end up having a major impact on your business.

This is because trust is a significant issue, as we’ve already mentioned above, but also because many in Gen Z will put off by these kinds of marketing tactics. Not only will they see a lie as a breach of trust – and thus think negatively of your brand – but they’ll also look at your brand as less authentic. Either of these will drastically affect how much business Gen Z does with you and could end up making or breaking your market share across the entire generation.

However, taking steps to build your trust with your potential audience, as well as to have your brand resonate with your audience will end up reaping significant rewards. Once you’ve developed your messaging to build trust with one part of that demographic, more and more trust will come as word spreads about your business. Because of that, you’ll be likely to see a positive domino effect once you’ve put in the effort.