3 Top Tips For Engaging Gen Z

Izzy Hall

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Look, we’ve said it before, and we’ll probably say it again: understanding what Gen Z are passionate about and what platforms they’re on will help brands to better engage young consumers. And better engagement will lead to every youth marketer’s dream… loyalty.

Recently, we caught up with Nora Zukauskaite, Global Marketing Director at Lottie London, IAMPROUD, and Ciaté London – three brands that perfectly cater towards their Gen Z audiences.

A true expert in all things Gen Z, we chatted with Nora about youth marketing, brand campaigns, the metaverse, the future of work, and the causes that are catching the attention of young people across the world. The full Q&A is available now on Voxburner+ (and isn’t one to be missed!), but, in true Voxburner fashion, we wanted to give you a sneak peek below, sharing Nora’s three top tips for engaging Gen Z and case studies of brands executing these successfully.

So, without further ado…

Two Gen Zers laughing and smiling

1. Social cause and purpose

Sociopolitical causes are important to Gen Z. Whether it’s climate change, politics, or healthcare and wellbeing, this community of young people care passionately about the issues that their peers are facing. They want to make a positive difference in the world, and this empathetic and philanthropic drive has led them to favour the brands that support the causes they care about (in an authentic way, of course!).

“This is a community which is incredibly passionate about everything that’s happening in our world, who have an opinion on everything and a stance on everything, and they demand for businesses to be responsible”, shares Nora. “Each brand has to find its own voice and its own way.”

Lottie London, Consent to Kiss

Gen Z beauty brand Lottie London recently teamed up with UK charity Brook to celebrate Valentine’s Day with their campaign Consent to Kiss. Created to ‘raise awareness of unwarranted attention, love bombing and sexual harassment online, whilst educating our community on issues like consent’, the campaign saw Lottie London donate 10% of all February sales from their Valentines collection to Brook. Brook works to support the sexual wellbeing of young people by educating them on issues of safety in relationships and the importance of consent – an issue that’s more important to young people than ever before thanks to the complicated world of online dating.

Not only was Lottie London’s range totally on-brand thanks to their iconic Gen Z-esque packaging, but the supplementary marketing was educational and engaging. News about the campaign was posted on their website in poster form, where key information about the charity and campaign was shared in the form of a text message thread.

So why was this campaign a hit with Gen Z? Well, not only was the brand financially supporting the cause at hand, but they also linked to a number of external websites and contacts of mental health and victim support charities. This is a clear sign of a brand genuinely wanting to make a positive difference, and doing so in an accessible, engaging, authentic way.

Lottie London are constantly supporting charities and causes close to Gen Z’s hearts – be sure to keep up to date with them here.

2. Representation

We talk about diversity and inclusion across all sectors a lot at Voxburner, emphasising how vital it is that brands take the time to understand their audience in order to authentically put them front and centre of their campaigns. After all, if a young person doesn’t see themselves represented in your marketing, why would they spend money with you?!

“I cannot stress enough that Gen Z consumers need to be seeing themselves in everything you do”, says Nora. “From the product development to the communication for what you stand for.” And saying that you’re representative and/or inclusive isn’t enough – you need to prove it. As Nora says: “We need to become the brands that don’t speak, but show, who we are.”

Ciaté London

Cosmetics brand Ciaté London but the fun in make up, and work to empower people to celebrate themselves and their bodies. As stated on the website: ‘We don’t believe in rules when it comes to makeup. It should be fun, creative and most importantly, it should empower you to explore your individual style.’

Ciaté London’s marketing, products, campaigns, collaborations, and brand ethos are diverse and exciting, proving that the beauty industry is for anyone and everyone. Their collaborations are celebrations of the community, with famous faces like 101-year-old (!) American businesswoman Iris Apfel and Selling Sunset‘s Christine Quinn leading up some of their most popular ranges.

The brand is perfect for Gen Z (they also offer a student discount), but they don’t alienate audiences who are interested in the beauty community but don’t fall into this generation. A great example of this can be found on their Instagram feed, which is populated with models of all ages.

3. Authenticity

Influencer marketing is great, there’s no doubt about it, but it’s authenticity that Gen Zers crave. From your products to your marketing, working with smaller content creators should be every brand’s priority in 2023 if wanting to engage Gen Z. In fact, recent Voxburner research revealed that 46% of Gen Zers believe having fewer followers makes your more trustworthy! You can read more about this is in the How to Grow Your Ecommerce With Creator Marketing guide from our sister company, Student Beans.

So why is this? Well, Gen Zers are looking for genuine recommendations and guidance, not payed product placements, and microinfluencers on TikTok and Instagram have dedicated communities and take the time to interact with their followers, meaning they offer a more authentic and trusted point of view.

“We need to step away from talents, from influencers, from people who are trying to still push that ‘#ad’ perfect lifestyle message to really showcase honest and real content with content creators who just do amazing things online”, says Nora.

“Long gone are the days of ‘#ad’, and we really are living in the moment where peer-to-peer user generated content, authentic content, goes a long way. Long gone are the days of filtering, showing a perfect life.”


Hair and skincare brand IAMPROUD are champions of sustainability, innovation, and diversity (all with a healthy price tag, which helps those money-conscious Gen Z spenders!). The brand puts representation at the forefront of everything they do, from the products they release to the teams they work with. As stated on the website: ‘We’re building a community that celebrates uniqueness and champions being proud of the skin you’re in. We’re committed to representing all skin, hair, and body types; putting diversity at the heart of everything we do.’

The IAMPROUD teams work hard to ensure that products are as inclusive as possible, and, as Nora referenced in her Q&A, there are a number of Gen Z employees in the company, something which will certainly help bring a diversity of option to the table and ensure that the brand is perfectly tailored towards Gen Z shoppers.

But the brand isn’t driven by the idea of sales; they want to make a lasting impression on Gen Zers (making them, you guessed it, authentic!). In a bid to fight back against the filters and editing of the online shopping world, IAMPROUD have made a pledge to never retouch their model images: ‘No one looks like the people in those ads – not even the models. #proudnotperfect’. The website also links to a petition to ban the retouching in cosmetics adverts.

Alongside their messaging, actions and products, IAMPROUD are making a wider, lasting, societal impact – something that does not go unnoticed by Gen Z.

Key takeaways

  1. Find a social cause that aligns with your brand and make it your purpose. From your marketing to your collaborations, investing time and money in this will make a real difference and show Gen Z that you care.
  2. All Gen Z consumers want to see themselves represented in your brand, and working alongside the individuals and communities you’re targeting will help you to perfect your youth marketing strategies.
  3. Gen Z favour the brands who empower them to celebrate themselves and their bodies. Avoid over edited, airbrushed content and focus on the real stuff: the content. They can see right through you!

Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to Voxburner+ today to watch the full Q&A, where we talk to Nora about Gen Z in the workplace, choosing social causes that align with your brand, the future of the metaverse in marketing, and much more!


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