Generation Z was born from (roughly) 1995 on. They are the generation of technology. They are brilliant, forward-thinking, socially-conscious, emotionally-aware, positive, and they are anxious, impatient, disengaged, and entitled. They have the attention span of 8 seconds.
If you have not caught their attention span in 8 seconds, you have lost them. If you’re only using one streaming method for internet engagement, you have lost them. If your website looks like it was from 1995, you have lost them.
Your business cannot afford to lose Generation Z. By the time 2020 happens, Gen Z will make up 40% of the consumers. Marketing to Millennials is no longer enough. Gen Z wants everything faster and they’re not going to buy your old sales-y tactics.
Gen Zs equate their personal environment to happiness. Happiness = spending. They like “disruptors” – ideas and “think tanks” that break out of the old way of doing things. They know how the old way works – they watched their siblings and parents still cling to the old way. But, by the time Gen Z kids are full-grown spending adults, new information will be processed every 12 hours. Every 12 hours. That means, in the future (for Gen Z), this blog would (theoretically) be irrelevant by the time I woke up and got to work the next morning.
They need these disruptors because they are the embodiment of rapid change. They believe in fostering creativity – an engineer, doctor, or lawyer are no longer the only “successful” careers. They understand you can make money gaming, making videos, streaming, branding yourself. Generation Z is the prime example of entrepreneurial spirit.
When it comes to engaging Generation Z with your small business, you need to hit two major areas of relevance:
- Global Relevance – How is your small business related to the world today?
- Personal Relevance – Why is your small business important to me?
For them, it all starts with the aesthetic. They’ve both been taught, and now value, the ability to analyze, evaluate, and then create. Because this generation is the generation of creators, they understand the value of the aesthetic. So, start with your website – if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, beautiful, and easy-to-navigate, they will automatically judge your business as one that doesn’t have any global or personal relevance.
Pick a cause. Whether this is a specific charity, purpose, drive, or whatever best fits your business, Gen Z’s perspective on global relevance for small business is how your small business should be enacting positive change. If your business makes an impact, it has global relevance.
Another way you can make your small business personally relevant to Generation Z is by offering choices. This is the generation of personalization and customization – if you can offer a way to make whatever product or service you sell completely customizable, you’ll be directly speaking to Gen Z.
As a final point on engaging Generation Z, you need to spend time where they are – that’s on Snapchat, Secret, and Whisper. They are attuned to the destructive forces of permanent social media, so they prefer anything that offers a self-destruct or incognito mode. Offering snippets and tidbits with the lure of secrecy just may be the way to get the Generation Z fish to bite.