One phrase that’s often used to describe the youth market is “ever-changing.” Gen Z are at a crucial time in their lives where they are experimenting with their identities and going through many key transitions. They are also on the cutting edge of new trends across tech, retail, lifestyle and much more. This means that understanding this audience can’t be achieved by simply reading a book or attending a seminar, but requires continuous attention throughout the year. Sounds like a lot of work? Don’t worry, we’re here to make it easy for you!
Here are our top 10 tips for marketers who want to keep up with Gen Z trends:
1. We’re a little biased here, but we first have to recommend our annual Youth Trends Report, which showcases the emerging trends we’ve been monitoring throughout the year, and reveals the results of our survey of thousands of 16-24s. You can get your copy here, or included with your ticket to YMS.
2. Along with our own reports, there are many other useful research pieces available online. For example, we enjoyed Snapchat’s Into Z Future, Seed Marketing’s What Matters To Us and Protein’s Youth Report.
3. If these reports don’t answer your questions, you might choose to do your own research. Reach out to your Gen Z customer base with a survey, or invite a group of superfans into the office for interviews or a focus group. Remember to focus on getting the key information you need, and consider how you will use these insights to improve your marketing strategy.
4. Make the most of any opportunity to speak directly to your target consumer, whether it’s in-store, at events or on social media. Don’t simply assume you know what they want by studying your internal data: only by speaking to them will you understand the motivations behind their behaviour.
5. Another way to get more direct contact with Gen Z, and to improve your brand’s reputation with them at the same time, is to offer young people the chance to get involved with your product and marketing discussions. Their input will help you to make the right decisions and to better understand their interests, tastes and lifestyles at the same time.
6. Many brands have offered office space and resources to young entrepreneurs as a way to connect with the business leaders of the future. An additional benefit is bringing a new generation of creative, driven people into the workplace, excited to share their ideas and make a difference.
7. Whether you’re in Europe or the US, our annual youth marketing festival YMS is the perfect opportunity to hear from the industry experts, along with panels of young people themselves. Speakers at our recent LDN and NYC events included Instagram, TikTok, Nike, Disney and many other brands at the forefront of Gen Z marketing.
8. Attending events like YMS gives you the chance to meet like-minded people from your own and other industries, who share your goal of engaging the next generation of consumers. Focus on building up a network of marketers who you can go to for advice and ideas when needed.
9. Social networking is equally useful for making contacts and joining the youth marketing conversations. Make sure you’re following relevant thought leaders (including us of course!) on platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn, and you’ll soon find you’re picking up useful stats amid your daily meme and GIF intake.
10. We couldn’t complete this list without inviting you to join our community of youth marketers by signing up to our Youth Trends Update, a weekly email filled with the latest Gen Z trends, news and insights, arriving in your inbox every Monday. Sign up here so you don’t miss out.
Got any other suggestions or recommendations of how to keep up with the latest youth trends? Tweet them our way!