Business, Marketing, Strategy
August 29, 2019
8 ways to reach a younger audience
8 ways to reach a younger audience

By Felicia Guthrie

Generation Z, those born between 1996 – 2010, are beginning to enter the workforce. As this younger generation enters the workforce, their earning power grows and, in turn, so does their buying power. Generation Z (Gen Z) is the “new millennial” and reaching this younger audience should be on your mind.

What does this mean for your small business?

A new generation of consumers offers the opportunity for your business to grow.

Of course, it’s important to analyze your brand/company first. Think about who you are as a brand and who your target audience is. If you can offer something of value to Gen Zers, marketing to them is a no brainer.

So how can you reach this new generation of shoppers?

Here are 8 ways you can tap into the buying power of this younger audience.

Mobile Experience

A seamless, comfortable, and consistent mobile experience is incredibly important when trying to reach Gen Z – after all they spend so much time on their phones. Fifty-five percent of Gen Zers are on their phone for five hours or more a day.

When creating or optimizing your website, check it out on your own cell phone. Is the website easy to navigate? Is the website from copy (writing) to visuals clear? Think of these sort of questions as you access your website from a phone.

If you don’t have a mobile friendly website, it’s certainly something to work on.

Be Social

Gen Z represents a group of shoppers that are more connected than any generation that came before them and guess what….

90% of their decisions are influenced by social media.

From Twitter to Instagram to Snapchat, Facebook, YouTube, and more, Gen Z are using these platforms in different ways. Not sure which platform you’d do best on? Read here.

If you’re trying to market to Gen Z and you have a highly aesthetic brand (ie. beauty or fashion), we’d suggest you think about creating an Instagram account. We can help if you’re not sure where to start.

Influencer Marketing

Older generations saw athletes and other celebrities as their main sources of inspiration among influencers, but that has shifted.

While celebrities are still influential, Gen Z is looking at a new crop of influencers – people with smaller followings and more relatable content. Smaller influencers and creators, from bloggers to Youtubers (etc), come across as more authentic and relatable – and more trustworthy. How trustworthy? Sixty percent of teens trust influencers more than celebrities and almost half of all consumers make purchase decisions based on influencer recommendations.

Choosing the right influencer(s) is important, these people represent your brand and act as ambassadors. Carefully consider the people that you collaborate with. Look at their social media profiles, vet them. You want to make sure your brand is in good hands.

Want to know more about influencers? Check out a few of our blogs here, here, and here.

Show Your Personality

We’ve talked about brand personality before. Gen Z feel more connected to brands when they relate to or are entertained by your brand personality.

Here are some key brand personalities:

  • Sincerity: Honest, Wholesome, Cheerful
  • Excitement: Daring, Imaginative
  • Competent: Reliable, Intelligent
  • Sophisticated: Luxurious, High class
  • Ruggedness: Outdoorsy, Tough

Find your brand personality and weave it into your voice and visuals.

Try our brand personality quiz!

Think outside the box

Allow yourself to be creative and think of new, fun and/or innovative ways to reach Gen Z. Don’t worry, we have some examples for you.

Over the past year or so, Canadian grocery chain No Frills has brought some life into their brand by experimenting with their marketing. First, No Frills released their own capsule clothing collection “Hauler” (Doritos and Taco Bell have also released capsule clothing collections), modeled much like a cool streetwear brand and it quickly sold out.

No Frills has subsequently released more Hauler gear and appeared at outdoor events such as Toronto Pride.

In May of 2019, No Frills launched Hauler: Aisles of Glory™, a retro 8-bit 2D animation game. The video game appealed to several generations because it offered a fun experience, but it was also in a style that was nostalgic for older consumers. Players could easily access and play the game in-browser on mobile, tablet, and desktop. Once they finished, they’d be rewarded with 500 PC Optimum points, which they could win daily.

Chocolate brand Reese created a Reese film done entirely in ASMR style, which also happened to be the first ASMR film. Just in case you’re wondering, ASMR stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, it is characterized by a tingling sensation at the scalp and the back of your neck in response to stimulus, often a particular sound (like the snipping of scissors or a crinkling paper). ASMR is becoming increasingly popular on Youtube and the partnership is unique but a good fit (with the crinkling of a Reese wrapper and crunching of the chocolate).

Grab their attention

We’ve mentioned this before, Gen Z has an attention span of 8 seconds, less than that of a goldfish. Think of this fact when you’re planning your strategy and tactics.

Does your campaign (your social media, ads, etc.) grab consumers attention instantly?

Does it keep their attention (ie. when sharing a video)?

Is your marketing straight to the point?

If you aren’t concise and upfront, consumers are just going to keep scrolling.

Be transparent and authentic

Generation Z values brands that are both authentic and transparent, and they can usually tell when you’re insincere. With so many brands and so much information at their fingertips, gen z consumers will spend their money on a brand they feel is true to itself, not a brand who is trying to be everything to everyone, or a brand that is pretending to be something they are not.

Carefully consider what you publish

The younger generation is also quick to “cancel” (boycott) celebrities or brands who do or say something questionable. For example, Tattooist and Cosmetics creator, Kat Von D found herself cancelled after she openly stated she was anti-vaccinations. After the comments, people shared posts mocking her and her brand and dug up racially insensitive comments made by her/her camp.

Hopefully, this blog has sparked a few ideas for you to reach a younger audience. There are many ways that you can appeal to younger consumers, from optimizing your social media, to influencer marketing, exciting PR opportunities (like pop ups), and more. And we can help. Drop us an email at so that we can help you reach a younger audience.

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