Even as brands continue to chase Millennials, marketers are starting to shift their attention to the next generation — Generation Z. Born after 1995, this is a group that grew up in our social, mobile, and digitally-connected world.
There’s a lot of soul searching on how brands can can resonate with Generation Z. Emojis in particular are taking off, as brands try to tap one of the ways that Generation Z communicates. Coke created actual Emoji domains for a billboard ad campaign, IKEA created it’s own set of home emoticons, and Mentos released a set of “Ementicons” to share emotions like “FOMO” and “selfie-obsessed.” Many brands are now starting to drop in Emoji into their social media communication, adding winky faces to their posts.
Out of all of the emoji marketing, I most liked this communication from PETA:
Yet chasing Generation Z isn’t the right approach for every brand. Even more than Millennials, Generation Z were born with marketing B.S. detectors. Connecting with an audience is about more than aping their lingo. Generation Z will see right through Baby Boomer brands that suddenly sound young and hip.
The Wall Street Journal poked fun at Goldman Sachs for “acting like an awkward grandparent who’s just learning how to text” after this tweet:
— Goldman Sachs (@GoldmanSachs) March 6, 2015
It’s an interesting marketing challenge how to evolve brands so that they stay relevant without losing their authenticity. And in the the rush to make brands hip to the youngest generation, there’s a risk in alienating or missing older generations.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how brands should approach Generation Z.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed cartoon print. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)