Connecting with Gen Z: A Guide to Value-Driven Marketing

Generation Z, or Gen Z, is the demographic cohort born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s. They are a powerful & influential group that has been shown to possess a unique set of values & behaviours. In India alone, there are a staggering 472 million members of Generation Z, making it the largest such cohort in the world. This demographic presents an incredible opportunity for businesses to connect with and tap into.

To understand the importance of value-driven marketing, one must first comprehend the essence of Generation Z. 

Characterized by their innate digital proficiency—a product of coming into adulthood within an internet-and-technology-dominated era; they often manifest as socially conscious individuals with high-tech acumen and an inclination towards individualism. They prioritize authenticity, sustainability, and social causes; furthermore—in contrast to previous generations—their technological prowess often accompanies a greater diversity and open-mindedness.

This generation is set to have a significant influence on the market, making it crucial for businesses to understand how to connect with them effectively.

Defining Value-Driven Marketing

Value-driven marketing—also known as “cause marketing” or “purpose-driven marketing”—is a strategy that emphasizes the values & beliefs of a brand and aligns them with the values of the target audience. It goes beyond the traditional “buy our product” approach and instead focuses on showcasing values shared between the brand and this audience.

For Gen Z, value-driven marketing is especially important, as they are known for their social awareness and desire to support brands that align with their specific values.

For instance, more than 8 in 10 Indian Gen Zs are concerned about social and ethical issues. 81% support local brands manifesting this concern too. Brands that align with these values can create a more emotional connection with the target audience, which can ultimately lead to a higher sales conversion rate.

Methods for Tapping into Gen Z’s Values

Now, let’s explore the methods for tapping into Gen Z’s values and effectively connecting with this influential demographic:

Tailoring Marketing Messages to Appeal to Gen Z Values

Understanding the values that resonate with Gen Z is the first step in effectively interacting with this cohort. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how to tailor your marketing messages to align with Gen Z values:

  • Sustainability: Research conducted by ESW’s Global Voices found that the country with the highest level of environmental concern was India, with 98% of Gen Z and millennials shopping with sustainability in mind. To appeal to their eco-conscious nature—your marketing should emphasize sustainability and eco-friendliness—highlighting your brand’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint, use of renewable energy, eco-friendly packaging, etc.
  • Social Responsibility: Align your brand with causes that resonate with this generation; promoting racial justice, advocating for gender equality, or championing mental health awareness. Leverage your marketing campaigns not only to advocate for these causes but also—and critically—to demonstrate concrete action in their support.
  • Authenticity: Ensure that your marketing messages accurately reflect your brand’s genuine values and unwavering commitment to these values to effectively target Gen Z—as they possess an innate ability to discern and identify inauthentic marketing from a considerable distance. Instead of indulging in excessive jargon or corporate-speak, strive to communicate with transparency and openness.

Online Platforms for Connecting with Gen Z

Living in a digital world, Gen Z invests a significant portion of their time on various social media and online platforms. Consequently, businesses must establish a robust online presence on popular platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to effectively engage with this generation. Employ interactive content: live streams, short videos, and personal stories—as these are all avenues through which you can actively connect and captivate your audience.

Making Digital Marketing Campaigns More Engaging

Gen Z’s shorter attention span necessitates content that grabs their focus almost instantly—with visual appeal playing a crucial role in this context. Gen Z is highly drawn to visually stimulating materials; such as videos, images, and infographics. High-quality visuals not only capture their attention but also convey messages effectively, often in a brief and visually striking format. This can be achieved through the creation of engaging videos that blend entertainment with information, as well as infographics that present complex ideas in a concise and visually digestible manner.

Incorporating Representatives of Gen Z in Campaigns

For a genuine understanding and connection with Gen Z, involve real members of this generation in your marketing campaigns. They offer authentic insights, ideas, and feedback that strike a chord with their peers. Utilize “influencer marketing” as an effective tool to accomplish this goal—by collaborating with Gen Z influencers who share your brand’s values. Influencers are often seen as relatable figures who have already built trust with their followers, and can authentically promote your products or services while providing genuine insights & feedback.

Making the Most of User-Generated Content (UGC)

Authenticity is a core defining trait of Gen Z, who reject the inundation of advertisements and manipulated content. Transparency and a genuine approach are highly prized by this generation, underscoring the importance of integrating user-generated content (UGC) into marketing approaches.

It comes directly from people who have used your products or services, providing unvarnished opinions and authentic personal stories. When Gen Z discovers UGC, they are more inclined to accept the message since it comes from their peers rather than a polished advertising script.

Wrapping Up — How Aroscop Can Help

To summarize, connecting with Gen Z values is critical for firms trying to engage with this big and prominent population. You can effectively interact with Gen Z and develop a lasting relationship by knowing their beliefs and behaviours and aligning your marketing efforts appropriately.
As a parting note, we would like to introduce Aroscop’s Ask1—an online consumer insights tool that can help you reach your desired audiences, including Gen Z, and get answers to relevant questions to shape your products, messaging, and positioning. Connect with us to get started!