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Appeasing Generation Z can be a challenge due to their skepticism towards marketing, lack of brand loyalty, and increasing demand for social responsibility. An example of this difficulty arose in 2021 when Kylie Jenner’s tequila brand, 818, faced backlash for a controversial ad that was seen as culturally appropriative. However, despite this setback, 818 has managed to establish itself as a premium tequila brand with booming domestic and international sales. This success can be attributed to the brand’s focus on authenticity and social proof, especially when targeting Gen Z consumers.
Kylie Jenner, a prominent social media influencer herself, has found a way to give back to the community in Mexico where 818 is distilled. By making sustainable bricks out of agave waste, she aims to contribute to environmental preservation while also helping those in need. This approach resonates with Gen Z’s values and has helped rehabilitate the brand’s image among this demographic.
However, it’s not just tequila brands that need to understand how to market to Gen Z. Every business should recognize the unique branding angles that appeal to this digital generation. Gen Zers were born between 1996 and 2010 and have grown up immersed in social media. They blur the lines between personal identity and brand, making them highly discerning when it comes to marketing efforts.
To successfully target Gen Z and build a loyal following, brands must align with the personal identities and values of this demographic. Here are four essential things to consider when branding or rebranding for Gen Z:
1. Prioritize authenticity: Gen Zers are savvy and can easily detect inauthenticity. It is crucial for brands to practice what they preach, whether it’s ethical commitments or brand tone.
2. Reflect personal expression: Gen Z sees their preferred brands as an extension of their own identity. Brands that align with their values and allow self-expression are more likely to resonate with this demographic.
3. Understand low brand loyalty: Compared to previous generations, Gen Z is less loyal to specific brands. To capture their attention and maintain their interest, brands need to continually deliver value and meet their expectations.
4. Embrace sustainability: Gen Z has a strong preference for sustainable brands and is willing to pay more for products and services that align with their environmental values. Incorporating sustainability into brand messaging and practices is essential for appealing to this demographic.
By understanding and implementing these strategies, brands can effectively engage and build a loyal following among Generation Z.