Just as marketers get a better grasp on Millennials, a new generation to decipher has quickly arrived — Generation Z. Believe it or not, Gen Z (i.e. those born after 1997) already have extreme buying power (and influence on their parents’ purchases).
However, only 30% of Gen Z consumers see loyalty programs as a positive thing, which is bad news for marketers. So, how can you foster brand loyalty among this up-and-coming generation?
Analog, meet digital. Digital, this is analog.
For this cohort, the channel is irrelevant as long as navigating between them is seamless. Gen Z shoppers demand excellent, omnichannel experiences that break the barriers between physical and digital. And it might surprise you to learn that 81% of these digital natives actually prefer in-store shopping. They want the ability to peruse the selection in a brick-and-mortar store as they compare prices online simultaneously. Any brand that doesn’t provide this ability won’t last long with this generation.
Catch them on their cell phone
Forget money moves, when dealing with Gen Z, it’s all about mobile moves. A recent survey reported Gen Z spends a median of five hours a day on their phones, which is a large part of their daily routine when you factor in school and sleep. Remember, this age group is the first raised as mobile and digital natives. So unlike its predecessors (some of whom remember the days of dial-up), a digitally-connected world is all Gen Z has ever known. The ability to reach this audience on any device at any time — and deliver perfect mobile messaging — will make your brand a boss.
Add some snap to your social — literally and figuratively
Gen Z’s heightened digital literacy levels makes state-of-the-art communication across all channels an absolute must. But you can’t communicate effectively unless you know what the proper channels actually are. Gone are the days where a Facebook post was good enough. This generation has moved on to other platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram. In fact, a recent survey found that 70% of Gen Zers said they prefer brands to engage with them on Instagram, followed closely by Snapchat at 50%. Your audience’s digital domains are in flux, so keep that top of mind when targeting this base.
Put the “person” back in personal
At the end of the day, Gen Z is just like any other generation. It wants to be catered to and made to feel special. A loyalty platform that helps your brand segment your data is an absolute must. Gen Z is actually more into personalization than Millennials (by almost 20%), but don’t forget to keep it authentic. Gen Z grew up surrounded by social media and advertising, and they can tell when you’re simply pushing a product. This generation wants that personal connection from all angles, and they know that technology can make it happen because they’ve seen it before. Be direct, transparent, and, above all, human.
They may still be coming into their own, but it’s already clear Gen Z requires a heightened digital presence, communication across new channels, and a more genuine connection with brands. So make sure your loyalty program has the necessary tools — personalization, segmentation, engagement capabilities, etc. — to make it happen. If you don’t, contact us to get started.
Jon Siegal is the Vice President of Global Loyalty Sales at Cheetah Digital. He is focused on helping businesses use digital and social experiences to acquire new customers and grow consumer relationships.