When it comes to marketing to the Gen Z audience, the generic marketing strategies and approaches that you’ve used in the past, might not work so well now. Why is that, we hear you say? Well, because they’re a very switched on generation.

Not only do they have less trust in larger institutions but they tend to question a lot of the problematic behaviours or the way companies conduct themselves. You’re just a click away from the cancel culture and as a generation that’s grown up with technology, there are high expectations to meet.

In this article, you’ll get a better understanding of what a Gen Z is, statistics on the generation in terms of retail brands and some marketing strategies and examples to try out.

What constitutes a Gen Z?

So what does it mean to be a Gen Z? A Gen Z is born between the late 1900s and early 2010s. It’s one of the largest generations and here in the UK, it constitutes 12.6 million people out of the 66.8 million. That’s nearly 13% of the general population!

The characteristics of Gen Z are that they are native when it comes to the digital world. They enjoy their privacy and they like to receive their information fast.

Statistics on the Gen Z generation for retail brands

For retailers, the trust that Gen Z has for bigger corporations is on the decline, opting to trust smaller businesses instead.

When it comes to Gen Z marketing statistics, poor customer service is a big one. With 48% saying bad service would cause them to stop shopping at their favourite stores.

A survey conducted in the UK in 2020 by Statista, asked participants about what makes a great retail brand. The results showed that 24% of young adults answered ethics and politics. For this generation, it’s more than just what the retail brand is selling and more so to do with the company’s approach to social awareness like sustainability, for example.

7 Gen Z marketing strategies

There are plenty of marketing strategies and examples that you can make use of as a retail brand in 2022. Here are several gen z marketing strategies to get you started.

1. Be completely transparent and truthful.

Generation Z has seen it all when it comes to marketing online and if they’re introduced to anything that’s new, they’ll want it to be truthful and honest. If there’s not complete transparency, then they’re a generation that’s likely to see through it.

A good example of transparency is a brand called LUSH. They’re often very honest in their social media content and in the past, they’ve posted a lot about charities they work with and how some of their profits go to these initiatives.

gen z marketing strategies lush

Whilst their main account has currently gone offline, the above is an example of the brand using their name in order to push the #SharkAttack pledge.

2. Be accountable for your decisions

A lot of businesses in the past would be able to get away with some of the decisions or choices they’ve made but with the internet, everything is more readily available and that cancel culture we talked about earlier is one that can damage a business.

Accountability is also about brands doing more to help with issues or gaps in the market.

gen z marketing strategies - ben and jerrys

For example, Ben & Jerry’s addressed their own social responsibility by making dairy-free options for those with intolerances or allergies.

3. Show off your brand’s personality

There’s nothing more enjoyable for Generation Z than to see a brand show off its personality. It’s good to see that there’s a human behind the brand and not just the corporate, sales pitch that older generations are used to.

nike marketing

Injecting your brand’s personality is something you should do in all parts of your marketing. A great example is Nike, which are always working with a variety of different athletes and celebrities to make their brand relevant and to make it universal for those from all walks of life and backgrounds.

4. Don’t take yourself too seriously as a company

There are lots of brands that are scared of stepping on people’s toes and don’t want to offend anyone. However, there’s always going to be those who take what you say the wrong way. As a brand, it’s important to not take yourself too seriously, otherwise, your Gen Z audience is likely going to think you’re no fun!

gen z marketing strategies netflix

Netflix is a good example of how even despite its popularity, it tries to not take itself too seriously.

5. Build a community with user-generated content.

User-generated content is big at the moment and as a marketer, it can help save you a lot of money. From influencers to everyday individuals that make great content, many brands are taking advantage of it.

gen z marketing strategies - new look brand

New Look is one of the many popular fashion stores to adopt this method of marketing, using a mix of official promotion and user-generated content.

6. Utilise video content

Video content is highly popular at the moment with 96% of consumers having an increase in their online video consumption.

gen z marketing strategies - charlotte tilbury

Here’s an example of a marketing campaign that used video content by Charlotte Tilbury for their new collection.

7. Use influencers wisely

It’s important that whilst influencers are very popular nowadays, you can end up damaging your reputation with the wrong person or someone ends up making a mistake, like the recent issues surrounding Molly Mae, which is a good gen z marketing case study gone wrong.

Gymshark is an athletics brand that has grown substantially due to its cult following. The brand has also collaborated with many influencers over the course of its growth.

gen z marketing strategies - gymshark

When it comes to Gen Z marketing trends in 2022, it’s worthwhile taking full advantage of the strategies mentioned above. Make sure to stay informed on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to Gen Z marketing campaigns.

The marketing landscape is forever changing and we’re likely to see a different approach to marketing for future generations like the latest Generation Alpha.



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