How to Tell Your Brand Story and What It Means To Generation Z | Stevens Tate

When deciding on how to tell your brand story, your intended audiences are a key component in any decisions you make. A great deal of time and effort goes into developing your brand story, especially in relation to making it appealing to your core market segment. While many companies focus their efforts on attracting the buying power of millennials, there is another sector who have money to spend, but who expect very different things from the brands they choose.

This sector is, of course, Generation Z. This generation encompasses all those born from 1995 onwards. Generation Z accounts for 25.9% of the population of the United States; by far the largest percentage of any age group. Currently, analysts believe this generation has in the region of $44 billion in purchasing power, and by 2020 they will account for a third of the U. S. population, so they are undoubtedly worth paying attention to.

Appealing to Generation Z

This generation lives in a world where everyone can have their voice heard, thanks to social media, and particularly channels such as YouTube, with its vloggers, product testers, and social stories. Generation Z is firmly based online, with recent research suggesting that 28% of this generation wants to be reached via online ads, compared to just 16% of millennials.

Their continual connection to the online world also means that they are more likely to be moved to action by real people than they are by celebrities. They are, as most people were at that age, looking for products over experiences. However, the challenge your brand story faces is how to make the products you sell feel current and therefore appealing to this younger age group.

Just a Click Away

As well as changing perspectives to appeal to this generation, you need to change how your story is delivered. Generation Z is very much a one-click generation. If it takes more than that to access or share the story, they are not going to read it or pass it on to others. Your story needs to be shareable through channels such as YouTube, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

Moreover, it is not just about accessing the content; researchers believe you have an average of 8 seconds to capture the interest of this generation, once the content has been accessed. This is one of the reasons why audio / visual approaches to your story are essential.

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Personal Products for Personal Experiences

While Generation Z is about the product rather than the experience that you are offering, they do want the product to provide a personal experience. This is where the more traditional approach to storytelling comes in, but using personas that they recognize – real people, in real situations, which they can imagine themselves in by buying your product.

While one could still use actors and showcase their lifestyles, using the YouTuber who Vlogs from his or her bedroom two streets over, could work even better with this generation because they seem more relatable to this younger audience.

Some Rules Still Apply

The differences between Generation Z and previous generations does not mean that you should throw all the rules out the window. High quality, consistent content is still a must when determining how to tell your brand story. Stories still need to have believable characters and situations. Your values, aims, and mission statement must again shine through; younger members of the Generation Z are also still under parental input, so, you need to bridge two or more generations with your approach.

However, you must tie all this together with a tech-savvy approach. Your brand story needs to encompass the online world in all its various forms. This generation uses different platforms for different activities, and you need to be able to tap into most of those if not all. Content that you provide for this generation needs to be in the form of micro-interactions; short snippets of mainly visual information, provided by someone that this generation recognizes and can relate to. Simple really, isn’t it?

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Dan Gartlan
Dan Gartlan helps companies of all kinds drive their business initiatives and achieve their goals with strategic marketing programs that deliver results. As President of Stevens & Tate Marketing, he has over 20 years experience across various industries, and continues to share his expertise to build brands nationwide.