Over the previous two decades, the millennial generation has completely transformed the business landscape.
In 2018, millennials made up the largest segment of the working population on the planet. Several improvements were made to fit the needs of this generation. They popularised remote working, flexible schedules, non-hierarchical structures, and substantial technology use.
On the branding front, the same thing has happened. To interact and connect with this well-informed generation, brands needed to take an entirely different strategy. While the majority of brands rolled up their sleeves and metamorphosed to suit the changes required to engage this generation, others found it difficult to stay up.
If you thought millennials were difficult to deal with, wait till you meet Gen Z. Gen Z is an even more aggressive generation than millennials. Gen Z, or those born after 1997, are recognized for being self-sufficient, well-connected, and pragmatic.”Gen Z grew up in a significantly different period,” said Roger Casey, president of McDaniel College in Westminster.
We’re just seeing the beginnings of transformations that will set them apart from the younger generation.” Gen Z has grown up in the era of mobile technology and has spent the majority of their lives using social media. As a result, brands will have to adapt their strategies yet again to remain relevant to this generation.
“In the past, businesses may have considered playing it safe for fear of alienating their customer base,” said Bobby Calise, vice president of Brands. When it comes to brands taking stands in today’s social and political context, however, not taking a risk is perhaps scarier.”
Taking a stand, of course, comes with its own set of dangers. It’s easy to get caught up in the market’s volatility and take “cause of the day” positions. This will catch people’s attention and attract them. However, there is a risk that the brand may appear untrustworthy and unauthentic.
As a result, brands must choose positions that are consistent with their underlying values and the purpose that motivates them. Of course, because new brands have no previous associations, it is easier for them to take risks and adapt their marketing strategy to engage with Gen Z.
This is not the case with traditional brands. They are well-known, their objectives and ideals are well-established, and they have spent years in the public eye.