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aware of safety and security issues, and are determined to pursue meaningful careers.

Millennials are far from being one distinct and holistic group But there are some general rules for reaching Millennials. When deciding on a purchase, they do their research - primarily online - and also rely heavily on the advice of individuals they trust or admire. Thus, authentically linking your brand to an objective third-party influencer can have an enormous impact on both brand recognition and even purchase intent. That doesn’t mean, however, a lengthy white paper or encyclopedic brochure will capture their interest. Millennials have about an eight-second attention span, so you’d better hit them quickly – via short messages or video – in ways that prove you understand their demands. They also care deeply about who you are, not simply what you offer. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important to them, and can often be the deciding factor in whether or not they buy from you. Showcasing sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and social responsibility efforts are essential - but, just like your marketing, it must be authentic. Millennials can tell if you’re blowing smoke.

They’re Here! …Gen Z And on deck - with billions in buying power already at their disposal - are Gen Z. With the elder statesmen of this cohort barely out of their teens, it may be easy to dismiss them as irrelevant - unless your company offers mobile apps or hoverboards. Not so! In the blink of an eye, the entire generation will be out of college, fully entrenched in the workforce and tilting the balance of commerce in their direction. And unlike their elder siblings - Millennials - this cohort has more in common with their grandparents. They value privacy, are keenly

Yet, they are distinctly different from grandpa and grandma too. Multicultural and socially liberal, they are oblivious to preconceived notions about race, gender, and ethnicity. And the term “global” doesn’t faze them, not when they can Snapchat with friends literally on the other side of the world. Sixty-million-plus strong, Gen Z members are true digital natives, raised on tablets, smartphones, and social media. Indeed, a 2014 Wikia Study found that more than half would rather give up their sense of smell than their smartphone.

Gen Z members are true digital natives, raised on tablets, smartphones, and social media

But they are realists, raised through 9/11 and threats of terrorism. They are eager to consume and share information - and just as likely to ignore it when they sense it is not authentic. For marketers, this means offering info in small doses - opt-in texts, YouTube shorts rather than longer form, text-heavy content. Bits and bytes across numerous channels will enable them to absorb your brand’s messages – as long as they’re compelling. Tell them the truth, make it fun and you’ve got a chance to snag their attention - for a while. But don’t assume they know who you are just because their parents do. A few years ago, we sent a student onto a California campus, where she asked pending grads and grad students how they expected to find their first job. Interestingly, the Tinder generation expected it would come through a personal connection, with a boost from their parents’ networks.

Brand Quarterly

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Profile for Vesey Creative

Brand Quarterly #21  

Does your brand inspire loyalty? Find out how top brands do it, in this latest issue.

Brand Quarterly #21  

Does your brand inspire loyalty? Find out how top brands do it, in this latest issue.

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