The Rise of Gen Z and Its Impact on Business and Buying Power

WMA Blog - Kayla

According to Insider Intelligence, Gen Z now makes up 27% of the United States population. While this generation can be broadly defined, it often encompasses those born between the years of 1997 and 2012. This would make the oldest members of the population around 26-years-old. A common misconception is that Gen Z are teenagers and children, and while some are, a large majority of the population are well within adulthood.

Many Gen Z individuals have a job, have their own bank account, buy their own groceries, and pay their own rent. According to Square, Gen Z and Millennial’s global share of retail spend is projected to increase to 48% by 2030. For this reason, it is more important than ever that businesses begin to cater their messaging to authentically connect with Gen Z through an understanding of their values, preferences, and communication styles.

For instance, Gen Z is a digitally-native generation that have proved themselves to be tech-savvy. As a result, they often expect more from their digital experiences.  Leveraging digital platforms effectively and offering personalized experiences is essential when attempting to appeal to this generation. Gen Z expects tailored interactions and seamless digital experiences across various devices, social media platforms, and even their mobile banking apps. This is important to keep in mind when considering that Gen Z will soon be one of the largest groups of consumers.

Additionally, Gen Z values authenticity. They expect businesses to be transparent about their values and practices. When developing a public relations strategy that appeals to a Gen Z audience, it is important to showcase the brand with transparency and to foster a sense of trust among your consumers. This generation is known for supporting brands that have value systems that align with their individual beliefs. When offering up their loyalty to a brand, they look beyond the basic products or services of a business to make sure their money is being ethically spent as well. Brands that demonstrate genuine commitment to causes they care about can earn more loyalty from Gen Z consumers.

Gen Z also relies heavily on their mobile devices, and social media has become a key tool in attracting this younger audience. As a brand, it’s critical to maximize this resource. By implementing social media in a public relations or marketing strategy, you can captivate Gen Z audiences and align with their preferences. In fact, popular social networking apps like LinkedIn and TikTok now have features that allow one to shop directly from the app. This is a prime example of businesses meeting consumers where they already are.

Overall, Gen Z is a generation that stays on top of trends and is constantly adapting. Embracing change and integrating new technologies into products, services, and marketing and communication strategies is pivotal in not just meeting but exceeding the dynamic preferences of Gen Z. Companies that prioritize staying ahead and fostering an environment conducive to flexibility and innovation stand a better chance of capturing the attention and loyalty of this growing generation.

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