Reaching Gen Z: How to market to the next big wave of customers

The generational cohort born after 1997, known as Gen Z, now makes up a third of the world’s population. These are the first generation to have had access to mobile and internet technology from birth, making them the most digitally-native generation ever.

Traditional marketing has been slow to capitalise on this market because, until fairly recently, they’ve been viewed as children or teens who don’t really have a great deal of spending power of decision making influence.

Now however, Gen Z are entering their twenties and starting in their careers. So, it’s no surprise that brands are now scrambling to figure out how to reach this demographic.

Adidas has done a lot of work to reach this audience and marketers in any business can take cues.

In 2017 Adidas abandoned traditional advertising all together in favour of mobile and digital marketing. Vans has also been successful in marketing to Gen Z. The company partnered with brands that resonate with Gen Z, including Disney, Marvel, and Nintendo to reach this audience via platforms including Instagram and Snapchat.

Reaching Gen Z with your business

If you’re looking to reach Gen Z consumers, there are several things that can be achieved quickly and which will align you more with this market. Here are some key things your brand can do to begin talking to Gen Z;

Make your products ethical and environmentally friendly

A recent survey found that 62% of Gen Z consumers buy from sustainable brands, and 73% are willing to pay more for their favourite sustainable products.

Gen Z consumers have been born into a world where sustainability is expected – it’s part of what they know as adults. They’ve grown up in a world where they’ve seen the negative impacts of climate change and pollution.

Businesses looking to reach Gen Z consumers should ensure that their practices align with their brand’s values. This includes how they treat their employees, the environment, and people worldwide.

Engage influencers

Gen Z consumers are more likely to take online influencers seriously than other consumer groups. This is because they have grown up in a digital world, and most of their friends and connections are on social media and extremely comfortable in that environment.  

Gen Z consumers aren’t just looking for recommendations from influencers – they’re also looking for authenticity when it comes to the products they buy online. That’s why companies need to ensure that their influencers are authentic, so people who purchase from them feel comfortable doing business with them.

Traditional marketing does not work

Traditional marketing methods don’t work as well for Gen Z as they do for other cohorts. This is because Gen Z have not grown up in a world of TV and newspapers. They are a digital first generation and so need digital first marketing to reach them.

Gen Z are more likely to be influenced by digital content than any other generation and have been raised with social media at an early age. They have become accustomed to interacting with brands through social media and so digital marketing has a huge role to play when it comes to reaching Gen Z.


As the spending power and influence of generation Z continues to grow, entrepreneurs and businesses who aren’t looking to reach them are missing out on a huge market. The question then isn’t if you should market to Gen Z, but when you should market to them. Making yourself aware of what makes this demographic tick and how to sell their products or services to them is vital.

The marketers who can understand this rapidly growing group will be significantly rewarded, while those that aren’t will quickly lose market share.