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If You Want Your Business to Succeed, Get Gen Z to Like You — How Gen Z Will Impact Business and Marketing Decisions in 2024 The key to your branding is to build a community and shared purpose that resonates with Gen Z's desire for meaningful connections and a positive impact.

By Dmitrii Khasanov Edited by Micah Zimmerman

Key Takeaways

  • To effectively reach Gen Z, it's crucial to understand their mindset and values.
  • As the most internet-dependent group, Gen Z workers prioritize authenticity over aesthetics.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Generation Z, born between 1996 and 2015, holds a whopping $150 billion in global buying power, constituting 32% of the world's population. This explains why digital marketers are rushing to adapt their strategies for this unique generation.

To effectively reach Gen Z, it's crucial to understand their mindset and values. As the most internet-dependent group, they spend over 5 hours online daily and prioritize authenticity and inclusivity. However, connecting with Gen Z is no easy feat due to the real impact of the cancel culture in their digital world. Successful engagement hinges on grasping and aligning with their values.

Gen Z, being digital natives, effortlessly operate in the online world. Unlike previous generations, they have been immersed in technology since a young age, making them highly adept at creating and consuming online content. Leveraging blogs, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok platforms, Gen-Z expresses itself and establishes connections with its audience. Their proficiency in utilizing diverse online channels sets them apart in the digital landscape.

Related: 5 Simple Tips for Incorporating Gen Z Into Your Workplace

New generation = new business values

In stark contrast to the millennial generation, Gen Z workers prioritize authenticity over aesthetics. They admire companies that eschew gimmicks and instead value those that offer straightforward and considerately designed physical spaces.

Crucially, it's essential to recognize that Generation Z is genuinely passionate about positively impacting the world. These no-nonsense tech natives aspire to bring about meaningful change in industries and are determined to avoid anything hindering their progress. Their focus is on making a difference and driving positive transformations.

Born into a world immersed in emerging technologies, they find almost anything tech-related second nature. According to a survey by InFocus, a staggering 97% of Gen Z workers highly value technological literacy in the workforce, preferring organizations on the cutting edge. They seek workplaces adept at navigating the digital waves of AI, IoT, blockchain and Industry 4.0. Regardless of the industry, Gen Z is known for understanding the impact of disruptive technologies.

When it comes to finances, the new generation prioritizes stability. Another report shows that their top goal is financial success, distinguishing them by their determination for self-reliance and individualism. While salary is crucial to attracting Gen Z, highlighting the broader compensation picture, including workplace culture and various benefits like employee recognition and rewards, is key to capturing their attention.

In terms of management, they place trust as their highest value. Independence and self-sufficiency are paramount to this generation, and they prefer managers who provide support without micromanaging. Caring and support are appreciated, but there's a delicate balance between giving Gen Z independence and being there for them.

Known for bringing fresh ideas and a strong work ethic, Gen Z cares deeply about diversity, the environment, and positively impacting the world. Taking the time to understand them better not only prepares you for a tech-driven era but also sets you apart in attracting and retaining this unique generation in the workforce.

Related: 4 Marketing Tactics for Appealing to Generation Z

Challenges for brands

Collaborating with a new generation of bloggers presents unique challenges for companies and brands. As previously mentioned, Gen Z influencers prioritize authenticity and awareness. Establishing a long-term partnership is unlikely if your company does not share these values. What other challenges can be anticipated when working with them?

Gen Z audiences are renowned for their short attention spans. Brands must create content that rapidly captures and retains attention to effectively convey their message, as lengthy or unengaging content may be overlooked. Consistent content creation and awareness of current trends and noteworthy events are essential.

Gen Z are often unafraid to voice their opinions on social and political issues. While this openness can be advantageous, it also poses a risk for brands if an influencer's stance conflicts with brand values or triggers controversy. It is crucial to thoroughly vet bloggers before collaboration to ensure that their personal statements and positions on socially important issues do not negatively impact your company.

Related: 3 Ways Gen Z CEOs are Crushing Stereotypes

How do we deal with the Gen-Z phenomenon?

  1. Capture attention, not just transactions. For Gen Zers, substance holds more value than a hefty paycheck. Intrigue them with interesting and useful offerings rather than simply flaunting financial incentives. They appreciate businesses that respect their audience and, in turn, gain the respect of their followers. It's about fostering genuine engagement and providing value beyond monetary transactions.
  2. Stay ahead of trends. Before reaching out, get familiar with current trends. If your business is still considering the #IceBucketChallenge, think twice. Gen Z influencers thrive on relevance, so aligning with contemporary trends is crucial. It's about staying in the loop and engaging with what resonates with the current interests and preferences of the audience.
  3. Simplify the process. New bloggers hate unnecessary bureaucracy. Keep communication simple, streamlined, and result-oriented. Cut through the red tape to achieve faster and more effective collaboration. It's about creating a straightforward and efficient pathway for communication and collaboration.
  4. Respect is non-negotiable. Despite their age, Gen Z demand and deserve respect. Approaching them with genuine respect sets the foundation for meaningful communication. It's about acknowledging their perspectives and treating them as valued collaborators, regardless of their age.

Gen Z social media influencers want to be part of something meaningful because they believe lasting change happens when people come together. Bring brand ambassadors and followers on board, start a challenge, use user-generated content, or support a good cause. The key is to build a community and shared purpose that resonates with Gen Z's desire for meaningful connections and a positive impact.

Dmitrii Khasanov

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Founder of Melandia Agency

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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