Making your brand a Gen-Z status symbol

21 January 2019 / Brían Taylor

Want to be the next Pumpkin Spice Latte? Generation Z adopt brands and products they admire to cultivate their own personal image and enhance their daily experiences overall. How can you bring your brand into the warm glow of Gen Z’s approval?


Be photogenic

It’s important to be instagrammable and snapchattable. 93% of Gen Z want products they buy to be ‘good-looking’. In fact, it’s the most important feature to them – even placing above functionality and quality. It’s not hard to connect the dots and draw the conclusion that this is so that snaps of the product will fit in well with their social media aesthetic.


Be authentic

65% of Gen Z dislike adverts which airbrush life, trying to make it look idyllic or perfect. Authenticity resonates with the youth generation and that feeds right through into how much you play with post production.

As a direct example of the backlash at airbrushing and unrealistic expectations, Irish influencer Rosie Connelly created content for cosmetics brand Rimmel which was for a foundation and concealer. A complainant contacted the ASA to highlight that the image had been photoshopped and filtered, giving a false impression of the product’s efficacy. This was the first instance in which the ASA upheld the complaint in relation to advertising by an influencer or blogger.


Play the long game

Only 39% of 16-to-18 year olds have a strong connection to a brand – compared to 46% of 19-to-21 year olds. However, UniDays reports that 66% of Gen Z declare that once they find a brand they love, they’ll remain a loyal patron for many years to come. So putting in that legwork now with Generation Z will reap dividends in the long run. Generate engagement strategies for different segments of Generation Z and re-evaluate their efficacy at least on an annual basis, nurturing them through from the youngest to the eldest segment, with the end goal of building that brand love that’ll last a lifetime.


Be socially responsible

It’s not cool to be wasteful, and it’s not cool to turn a blind eye to environmental impact. Gen Z love brands that break the mould to show they’re dedicated to sustainability and care about the world around them. Gen Z are the most ethically conscientious generation yet, even more than millennials. Pasta straws, anyone?


Provide an experience

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Gen Z value experiences over materials. Value in the Pumpkin-spice phenomenon (coffees, muffins, candles, liquors, soups, bath bombs…) lays in its limited availability at one time of the year and the resulting FOMO factor (‘Fear Of Missing Out, FYI). Gen Z are drawn to taking full advantage of these whilst they’re available, and provide a sensation of cosiness and indulgence, providing a pleasant autumnal experience which is just right for Instagram or for sharing with friends. Gen Z love a bit of #hygge.