Jeff Fromm and Angie Read, authors of Marketing to Gen Z: The Rules for Reaching This Vast--and Very Different--Generation of Influencers, recently shared their Generation Z marketing insights on my podcast. The below are the highlights from our conversation.

What words best describe Generation Z?

  • Fiscally Responsible
  • Independent
  • Focused
  • Determined
  • Hard-working
  • Competitive
  • Entrepreneurial

Why is it important to understand Generation Z?

  • Youth culture is impacting American consumer culture across generations much more broadly than ever before. The next generation provides data points into what's likely next for industries.
  • Generation Z is one of the most powerful consumer forces in the market today. Their buying power is $44 billion and expands to $600 billion when considering the influence they have on their parents' spending. 
  • Generation Z will represent 40 percent of American consumers by 2020.

How is Generation Z similar to Millennials? (Read this for nine ways Generation Z will be like Millennials.)

  • The digital, social, and mobile behaviors of Generation Z and Millennials are similar.
  • They are both early adopters of all things that simplify their lives.

How is Generation Z different from Millennials? (Read this for eight differences between Generation Z and Millennials.) 

  • Privacy matters more to Generation Z. They are very careful and intentional about managing their online reputation.
  • Generation Z is fundamentally moving towards more traditional values. They are old souls in young bodies.
  • Generation Z will be more competitive. This is in contrast to Millennials' collaborative behaviors.

What are the values of Generation Z?

  • Human Equality
  • Family
  • Individuality
  • Personal Success
  • Financial Security
  • Authenticity/Transparency 

How does Generation Z make purchasing decisions?

  • Quality and Value: Generation Z wants to know they are getting the most for their money.
  • Identity: Generation Z considers if the brand fits their unique identity and/or if the product reflects their own values.
  • Peers: Generation Z crowdsources their purchasing decisions and seeks the opinion of their peers before (and after) buying.
  • Accessibility: Brands must make their products or services available in a mobile-friendly and mobile-first fashion. 
  • Hyper-Convenience: A step up from accessibility, Generation Z wants just-in-time products/services that can be consumed instantly.

What makes brands relevant to Generation Z?

  • Taking a stand on important issues. Generation Z practices what they preach and they expect brands to do the same.
  • Reflecting a more realistic portrayal of life. Marketing messages that depict a non-diverse and utopian world won't resonate with Generation Z. 
  • Creating authentic two-way conversations that allow Generation Z to co-create with brands. Don't market to them; market with them.

Listen to my full interview with Fromm and Read here.