5 Ways to Reach and Engage the Next Influential Generation: Gen Z

05/06/2015 03:01 pm ET | Updated May 06, 2016

Gen Z, this young and nascent population is notoriously difficult to target for brands. I am often asked by brands How do you target these savvy consumers who were born in the digital age? How do they differ from Millennials? Well to answer some of these questions, here are 5 tips to reach and engage this upcoming influential generation.

1) Use Tech as the native language

Generation Z does not use tech to be innovative or as an amplifier, it is a part of their identity. They are at average using 5 devices rather than millennials who use 3 at a time. This means that you should be creating a message across all devices that catch their attention in an authentic, human way. If you create a video for snapchat, make sure you are also across the board on youtube, vine, meerkat, facebook, twitter and that you are telling a story that is inspiring across all channels.

2) Co-Create

Generation Z are a group of entrepreneurs who believe in the value of doing what they love, but also making money on their own time. They do not feel that they were able to depend on the generations before them for advice or guidance particularly as they watched a failing economy, and so they paved their own way. Brands should be listening to them and asking them to be co creators not only in content but even with products.

3) Listen to them; No really, Listen.

It's one thing to recognize that Generation Z wants to be heard, it's another thing to realize that Generation Z really knows what they are talking about. They create the trends, they do not follow trends, they actually find them and then make them. Check out all of these vine stars who are under 18, or these entrepreneurs on the main TED stage who are not even graduated from high school yet; Generation Z navigates the world differently because they do it together. They are connected since the day they were born and know how to identify what's cool and also create what's cool.

4) They really care about the world.

They don't just care about the world, they care about each other. They are tolerant, they are open minded, they have learned from so many mistakes they have seen their parents and grandparents and big brothers and sisters before them, and they have not just seen what their own family members have done wrong, they have seen what the world has done wrong. They don't want to create a nonprofit, they want to create businesses that make a difference in the world. If you want to appeal to Generation Z, just like Millennials, have an authentic core message that is making a significant difference in the world in an authentic way.

5) Change the Face

Color, size, gender, sexual preference is fairly molded together these days for Generation Z. Whether they are speaking about being transgender on youtube, or watching Faking It on MTV, sexual preference, race, culture all morphs into a society of different people and none of that matters to them. They are tolerant, accepting, embracing their own differences and each others, so as a brand, you should be very aware that your fresh face model should not always look like the boy/girl next door anymore, because Generation Z sees a very different boy/girl as the norm. In fact, there is no norm to Generation Z.


The most important thing to note when appealing to Generation Z is that they are mini entrepreneurs, they turn their hobbies into jobs, they turn their content into a business, and they create their own culture. They know more than you do when it comes to innovation, technology and the future, and the second you try to tell (or sell) them otherwise, they will be bored and disregard you all together.