Gen Z Marketing: How To Design It The Right Way
It is easy to fear the unknown or even dismiss it right away. But it takes skill to master that unknown. Selling to newer generations works the same way. In today’s market, you will hear a lot about the younger generation being unpredictable, hence difficult to sell to. Yes, we are talking about the famed Gen Z generation. This group of people born between 1995-2000 seemed to have turned the industry on its toes.
But we think this is the reaction to the world’s first tech-savvy and unique generation, stepping into the purchasing world. And this is a genuine reaction. Marketing, as we all know, is part of psychology. So you must understand the target audience perfectly for your campaigns to succeed.
Gen Zers are highly visual and have a short attention span. They also like to connect with brands on an emotional level before going ahead with any purchase.
Design is your tool to shape their perceptions about your brand, attract attention, and foster a long-term relationship with this unique generation.
This blog by Kimp will help you generate design ideas for your marketing campaigns that center on Gen Z.
But before we do that, let us take a moment to understand this generation and its significance in the business world.
- Defining and Understanding Gen Z
- The purchasing power of Gen Z
- Gen Z’s natural habitat
- 8 Tips to get Gen Z Marketing Design right
- Up Your Gen Z Marketing Game by Leveraging Kimp Design Subscriptions
Defining and Understanding Gen Z
Short of typecasting people, it is difficult to define any generation entirely. Every generation has a mixed group of people exposed to different cultures, economic conditions, and upbringing. So we cannot club them in one box claiming to understand them.
Yes, some similarities connect people born between the mid to late 1990s to early 2000s. Marketers and businesses must try to leverage these connecting threads to gain an understanding of this generation. This knowledge will ultimately form the base for all your business decisions.
So what are the similar characteristics that make Gen Z so unique and challenging in today’s marketing and advertising world?
Let’s begin with the common perceptions and part-myths about them prevailing in the public domain. These include :
- Gen Z does not believe in formal advertising and never checks emails.
- They are only interested in online businesses, virtually signaling an end to brick-and-mortar establishments
- They have a lower attention span compared to millennials (8 seconds as compared to their 12 seconds).
Now, while these are partially true, there are some interesting exceptions to these perceptions :
- Gen Z may not believe in emails as much as the other generations, but they use emails for personal communication. They still check emails every day, and this medium is not dead yet.
- Because of the Internet culture, Gen Z does spend an inordinate amount of time online, but that does not mean they will not shop from offline brands.
- While Gen Z’s attention span may be less, do not forget that it is a generation that basically invented binge-watching and can finish a series in a day. So, give them value and hook them in.
The purchasing power of Gen Z
Once we know all this, the next question is why a brand must know all this? Aren’t they awfully young to be making purchasing decisions? Can this generation have any significant impact on the market?
*drum roll, please*
No. In fact, Gen Z has a significant influence on the market. They make up 40% of all customers across the world. Being extremely tech-savvy, they are also influencing their parents’ decisions on purchases.
Gen Z has a $40 billion impact via direct influence and holds a $600 billion impact via the influence on their family members.
Gen Z’s natural habitat
Given how important Gen Z is becoming for the business world, brands cannot afford for this audience group to find them on their own. No, it is time to knock the doors on their natural habitat so that you can make the connection.
We know that Gen Z is a “forever online generation” with a penchant for visual and short-form content. So it is no surprise that this generation prefers Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok over other social media platforms. Facebook and YouTube are still in the top 5 but barely.
So even though video content is popular, we can understand why YouTube is not on top, given that it is a platform skewed towards long-form content.
Reaching out to this generation to promote your product on these platforms is a vital and extremely smart strategy. And you are going to need all the visual arsenal you have.
That is why Kimp brings you a compilation of design ideas that can help turn the tide in your favor.
So, with no further ado, let’s get cracking. We have a generation to conquer.
8 Tips to get Gen Z Marketing Design right
The major difference between art and design is that, while art can simply exist to delight, design has a clear purpose. When you market for Gen Z, that purpose is to emotionally engage the audience with your design.
When you create designs for marketing, it is an attempt to understand the audience and find what makes them tick.
The Kimp team brings you a list of handy tips to understand what impresses Gen Z and how to tailor your design accordingly.
1. Build a strong and meaningful visual identity
The thing about attention spans is that all it takes is just one element to break that mold. For Gen Z, it is the power of visuals. Think about it. This generation grew up in a visually dominated world with television, the beginning of pop culture, the rise of graphic novels, and then finally social media.
Your visual identity is the face of your brand. But for Gen Z, the face must hold some meaning and significance. Every component of your visual identity must attract the audience’s attention and connect with it.
Choose logos, brand names, color schemes, typography, and imagery used carefully.
Audiences from this generation will judge your brand and decide if it is worth the attention, primarily on these elements.
Millennial Pink is also Gen Z’s favorite color and a simplistic design style is sure to win their attention.
Kimp Tip: Color psychology and font psychology can help you in choosing the right branding elements for your brand. But, you must also consider how it will look across various digital mediums, what context it holds for this generation, and if it is working for your competitor.
Work with the Kimp Graphics team to create these visual identities for your brand. Our team can help you choose between different design styles and elements. And since we don’t charge per revision under our unlimited graphic design plan, you have no reason to settle for anything but the best.
2. Show inclusion and diversity in design
Call them the woke generation or the cancel culture generation, you cannot deny that their points have merit. When you cater to people from different walks of life, it is only fair that they want to see themselves represented in the messaging.
Moral lectures aside, representing and including people of different genders, races, and cultures can help you connect with them instantly. When they see themselves in the narrative, customers take one step closer to the purchase decisions.
So how can you do that?
Talk to the design team about including images and illustrations that are inclusive and paint a diverse image of society. Even if you are using stock images with a few tweaks, this should dictate the choice of those images too.
Gen Z makes most of their purchase decisions via the brand perception they form on social media. So, an inclusive visual identity can have a positive impact on their purchase experience.
Inclusivity in Social media imagery is important to attract Gen Z by showcasing your values.
3. Emphasize visual branding consistency
We keep speaking of branding consistency in every blog that we can think of. And that is because it is extremely important. It becomes even more significant when you are dealing with a target audience like Gen Z. The people of this generation hop between devices, platforms, and online/offline channels instantly.
So, they will expect visual branding consistency. The visual language you adopt on Instagram must match with the in-store experience too. Gen Z values authenticity above all and can stop brands who are just trend hopping from a mile away.
For this, your visual identity must be flexible enough to work across devices and platforms. They must also be print-compatible so that the color scheme, aesthetic, and visual characteristics come through offline too.
Yes, it is tempting to think only digitally in Gen Z marketing, but they too have in-store experiences. Account for those in your campaigns too. So, start by revamping your digital identity into something more relatable, inclusive, and diverse.
Kimp Tip: While creating visual branding elements, create mockups of how they look on various devices, platforms, social media channels, offline storefronts, and more. This helps you get ahead of the curve and not suffer any embarrassments later on.
4. Attract Gen Z via videos
Social media is a labyrinth of content. There is so much you can do. But what should you do? You need content that engages and brings the Gen Z audience to your profiles. And that is the video with no doubt.
61% of Gen Z consumers agree they watch videos over any other form of content and specifically come to social media for that. Even in videos, short-form content reigns supreme with TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Snapchat being preferred platforms.
Some video ideas to attract and engage Gen Z include :
- Product preview videos that are the right balance between engaging and informative
- Social proof videos featuring the reviews and testimonials of existing customers to build trust in the market
- Videos on Snapchat and Instagram stories that bring out the real side of your brand. This can be BTS from a shoot, a day in your product development office, employee interviews, or quick explainer videos.
- YouTube shorts to preview the long-form videos and generate interest over time in that segment.
Kimp Tip: Spread your video content across platforms to build a diverse audience. Video production may seem expensive, but the returns are absolutely worth it. You can also repurpose video content to suit different platforms and not have to produce individual ones for each platform.
Fenty Beauty’s interactive and engaging Reel appeals to the Gen Z by hitting all the right spots.
5. Engage and entertain with design
There is a huge load of content on the internet today. In the era of doom-scrolling, it is quite easy for your target audience to miss out on your post. Studies on consumer behavior show that by explicitly soliciting engagement, you can improve your reach on these platforms.
Especially, the Gen Z audience wants posts they can interact with and take the conversation ahead. So, give your audience something to do with your post. Make them answer questions, interact with posts via comments, and overall engagement metrics.
You can create polls, Instagram stories, Snapchat stories, and gamified content to make this happen.
The Pumpkin love-o-meter is just ideal for getting clicks and generating engagement through the roof. The audience also interacted with this, sharing their scores and improving the posts’ shareability instantly.
6. Bring on the Memes
Gen Z is the meme generation. They are avid consumers of pop culture, and topical content always works with them. What better content model to personify these behaviors in one go than memes.
The brilliance of this design is that it also spreads like wildfire. You just have to begin. Also, memes are one place where trend hopping is good for you. Having grown up in the Internet world with pop culture driving their life, Gen Z will appreciate a brand that can make branded memes without overselling them. Be that brand.
Brands begin to nail the marketing by meme game when they create templates, start the trend, and do product promotions via meme without losing authenticity.
So, keep it fun and casual. And say it with memes.
Crocs’ – a Gen Z favorite brand killed it by hopping on the “Did it hurt?” trend with this post.
Kimp Tip: People communicate in Memes, Gen Z more than ever. The brand awareness you can generate via this will truly look insane once you get a hold of this. So, ensure that the memes speak the brand language, have the branding elements in place, and the product placement is right.
The Kimp Graphics team can create on-topic, funny, and branded memes for you within its unlimited graphic design service package itself. No additional charges. Book a call with the team today to know more about the subscription.
7. Design for Mobile
You may have noticed that the heading does not say optimize for mobile, rather it says design for mobile. It is a deliberate and extremely intentional statement.
Gen Z browses, shops, and consumes content on smartphones more than anything. The ratio of Gen Z shoppers owning smartphones is only going up. This generation has also moved away from ecommerce to social commerce (shopping on social media sites) in the last few years.
All this shows that you have to up your mobile design game and do it now! Any content you create, you must assume that the audience will view it on a mobile phone. Check that every design you approve is mobile-friendly, easy to navigate on mobile, and does not lose the message on any platform.
8. Don’t give up on email marketing
All this emphasis on social media and short-form content can jade any seasoned marketer. More than anything, it takes away one of the highest ROI marketing channels: email marketing. Well, we are here to tell you it doesn’t have to.
What do we know about Gen Z? They check emails, are constantly online, and interact with brands for shopping on social media. So it is obvious that all other brands will focus on social media rather than email marketing. Which makes it an interesting avenue to build connections, raise brand awareness, and generate a qualified lead bank.
But how do you make Gen Z click brand emails when they are so averse to traditional advertising? Turns out, the answer is visual content again.
Studies show us they are more likely to open emails that contain visual content and videos than textual content.
So, share your videos, infographics, memes, and promotional offers via email, and it may just work. If not anything, you can secure an email bank you can tap into anytime.
The bright colors in this email and the contrast in design is perfect to engage Gen Z.
Up Your Gen Z Marketing Game by Leveraging Kimp Design Subscriptions
If there is one takeaway from this analysis of Gen Z marketing, it is that they value design a lot more than any other generation. In fact, it is their yardstick for judging brands who market to them.
Our subscription plans bring you unlimited requests, unlimited revisions, and multiple brand buckets to create for. All at a flat monthly fee and no hidden charges.
We also have a free trial so that you can get a little preview before you commit.
Sign up for the free trial and check it out for yourself.