Gen Z marketing requires more than simply selling a product.
Born between 1996 and 2010, this generation is value-conscious and drawn to brands that are authentic.
They’re creative, bold, and the creators of many trends on TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other platforms.
And they require a slightly different approach than their millennial counterparts.
So how do you reach and connect with the Gen Z market in 2024? We're covering it all, below.
Who is Gen Z?
Having grown up with smartphones, the internet, and social media, these digital natives are more likely to buy from brands that have established clear values, are inclusive, and have a strong online community.
So, if you haven’t started thinking about this younger generation, 2024 is the perfect time to start.
With a few strategies tailored specifically to Gen Z, you can tap into their audience and create content they’ll engage with — without alienating your current customers.
Ready to create a solid Gen Z marketing strategy? Learn from Gen Z expert, Larry Milstein, in this free video workshop (or keep reading, below):
5 Gen Z Marketing Strategies for 2024
In order to connect with this generation of digital experts, you'll need to keep these five strategies in mind:
Establish Clear Values & Mission
Be Transparent & Accountable
Establish Your Brand’s Personality
Build a Community
#1: Establish Clear Values & Mission
Before marketing to Gen Z, it’s important to establish your brand's values and mission. Why?
“Gen Zers are much more inclined to vote with our dollars, and believe a brand’s values are a reflection of our own,” explains Gen Z expert (and Gen Zer!) Larry Milstein.
Some topics that matter to Gen Z include:
LGBTQ+ rights: 60% of Gen Zers think same-sex couples should be able to adopt children
Diversity: 60% of Gen Zers say increased racial and ethnic diversity is good for society
Social responsibility: 70% of Gen Zers try to purchase from companies they consider ethical
“We’re 3x more likely than older generations to believe a company has a role in improving society,” adds Larry.
Take underwear brand Huha for example:
Their content not only helps to normalize stretch marks and body hair, but they are vocal advocates for body positivity and dismantling myths about sexual health.
The takeaway? Establishing your brand’s values and communicating them effectively is key to connecting with Gen Z.
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#2: Be Transparent & Accountable
The next step in your Gen Z marketing strategy is to be transparent and publicly take accountability for any missteps.
According to Larry, Gen Z has no qualms about doing their research.
They’ll do a deep dive into a brand’s website, scroll through their social media accounts, and read comments and reviews.
“Brand trust is only second to price in terms of determining what brands we’re going to support. You’ve seen brands trip up because they’ve not upheld the standards that they’ve been communicating,” explains Larry.
Company culture matters to Gen Z, and your brand should hold the same values externally and internally.
But it’s not enough to solely cast and work with diverse creators and influencers. Larry adds: “It needs to be built into the fabric of the brand.”
#3: Establish Your Brand’s Personality
In order to engage and connect with Gen Z, say goodbye to the millennial-focused aesthetic of perfectly curated content.
No more sleek and minimal imagery — Gen Zers want brands that are bold, have a strong voice, and a personality.
Starface sells pimple-protectors and their website and social media content is full of bright yellow, smiley faces, and stars:
They’re able to promote their products in a light-hearted and silly way, and the strategy has seen massive success.
They have over 2M followers on TikTok with videos full of skincare routines, fun transformations, and catchy music.
“Love it or hate it, what they’ve done well is tap into an irony that Gen Zers gravitate towards, especially in a world where there’s massive uncertainty and unrest.”
The takeaway? The zany and weird can work too — these Crocs sold out.
#4: Be Entertaining
Gen Zers have an uncanny ability to filter content.
With a short attention span, “you have around 8 seconds to essentially tell us why we should pay attention before we move on.”
Creating fun and quick tutorials featuring various beauty influencers lets Fenty Beauty spotlight their products in an easily digestible way.
TIP: If entertaining isn't your style, consider going the more educational route — but keep your language conversational.
#5: Build a Community
Building a digital community is integral to your Gen Z marketing strategy.
According to surveys, Gen Z is the loneliest generation in America, so they’re actively looking for ways to engage and connect with like-minded individuals.
Brands can help facilitate authentic connection and conversation, but it goes beyond working with mega-influencers.
The answer? Seek real people who have interesting platforms and embody your brand’s values.
“It could be a creative, an artist, a thought-leader, or an activist — find people you believe can serve as ambassadors and tap into their networks in a way that feels less transactional and more authentic,” says Larry.
Another way to build a community is to either solicit feedback from Gen Zers during product development or to celebrate those who’ve been loyal to your brand for years.
So, there you have it — Gen Z marketing is a great way to connect with a new type of consumer: one that is value-conscious, loves bold personalities, and seeking community.
Time to ideate.