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For Generation Z, identity is contextual in the ever-altering, instantaneous, always-connected world in which they live. And so, they’ve responded by becoming identity shifters like we’ve never seen.
While most reports have attempted to sum them up with statistics, advertising and marketing agency RPA has taken a fundamentally different approach: a qualitative exploration about Gen Z, by Gen Z. The result offers marketers valuable insight into how to connect with the generation that’s reinterpreting and reshaping the market as we know it.
1. GEN Z SHIFTS THEIR IDENTITIES DEPENDING ON THE SITUATION. MAYBE BRANDS SHOULD TOO.
We’ve long held that a brand has to be consistent—precise, fixed, living within guidelines; for this next generation, that’s not necessarily the case.
2. AMONG THEIR PEERS, GEN Z PRACTICES SITUATIONAL CORRECTNESS. LEVERAGE THE POWER OF GROUP DYNAMICS.
Social cues from peer groups will decide if your brand or message sinks or swims. Tap into the right influencers and influences to gain a following.
3. GEN Z APPRECIATES DIVERSITY. BUT THEY DON’T WANT TO BE DIFFERENT.
Diversity is a core gen Z value. However, in reality, gen Z’s preference is often to be with people who are more like them than not.
4. RISK STANDING FOR SOMETHING - SO GEN Z DOESN’T HAVE TO.
Gen Z often prefers to retweet than be the author of something controversial. They appreciate when others take the risk so they can follow.
5. GEN Z SEEKS VALIDATION. LET THEM KNOW THEY MATTER.
Gen Z requires more feedback that they matter to you as a customer, and they are going to need proof.
6. DON’T JUST MARKET YOUR BRAND. HELP GEN Z MARKET THEMSELVES.
Gen Z sees brands as potential allies and resources in their own quest to be known—so help them. Their identity is a resource to be monetized.
7. GEN Z REJECTS CONFINING LABELS. ENABLE THEM TO BE THEIR SELVES.
Using labels like “real moms” or “you’re a smart customer” signal that you don’t get it as a marketer. Personalization is important to Gen Z. But it will only succeed when it avoids rigid labels and lets the audience self-select who they are.
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8. TRUTH MATTERS. AND SO DOES FICTION.
Gen Z has a more nuanced relationship to truth than Millennials. They navigate their world by polishing, editing and even suppressing elements of themselves. Sometimes, a story or persona can be more “real” than the actual thing.
9. GEN Z IS A GENERATION OF BELIEVERS. HELP THEM TO BE DOERS.
Gen Z thinks their generation will change the world—but it’s rooted in their passionate beliefs, not necessarily their actions.
10. DON’T MARKET TO WHO Z IS. HELP THEM BE WHO THEY WANT TO BE.
Gen Z does not want to be limited by the here and now. Brands can help Gen Z convey their best self...or selves.
For more detail, or to download the full 90-page report, visit: https://identityshifters.rpa.com