By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Gen-Zers or Gen-Z, as they are famously known, make up 25% of the US population and are expected to account for 40% of all consumers by 2020. On the other hand, born in the early 1980’s to early 2000’s, millennials have a global population of over 2 billion (78 million in the US by 2030) and have a great influence in both sociocultural and economic aspects.

It will require a complex process to satisfy the expectations of these two generations. Let’s start by understanding their key differences when it comes to brand engagement:

  • Gen-Zers use more social media platforms for various activities, according to a study by Response Media. They love to share distinctive types of contents on various channels, such as Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook.
  • Based on the frequency of their social media visits, Gen-Zers are very much engaged with social media, but brands only have a few seconds to reach them. Unlike millennials who make more purchases online, it is more difficult to drive online sales from Generation Z. Creating an impactful story should be a marketer’s top priority.
  • Millennials tend to spend more time and may be willing to read a longer post, thus there is a bigger chance to foster loyalty. Building strong relationships with millennials increases your chances of reaching more audience and getting conversions in the process. In the second quarter of 2017, 60% of millennials claimed they stayed loyal to their brands, as compared to 55% of Gen Z respondents who claimed the same.
  • The 2015 Animoto Millennial Survey reveals that millennials are specifically drawn to brands that have video content. In fact, they are the most engaged viewers of online video.
  • Gen-Zers will respond more to people or scenarios that reflect their own lives. They want to be able to relate to the story you are trying to impart. Authenticity is the name of the game.
  • Brands may be more successful in connecting with Gen-Zers through influencer marketing. Influencers appear to be more genuine in the eyes of the Gen Z population, based on how they turn to YouTube when they need to know something.

Let’s face it. There’s a clear division between Generation Z and millennials in terms of their values, preferences, priorities, attention span, beliefs, and even their social media behaviors. Keeping all these in mind, it is a challenge for brands to keep up with them, much more maintain their brand engagement. They key is to just keep it real; and exert more effort in understanding and meeting their needs better.