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How to Advertise, Engage & Sell to the Gen Z Consumer

This PSFK guide is a Gen Z report for brands and retailers to engage a new generation of customers with customization, participation and enhanced ownership.

Executive Summary

Gen Z, the first truly digitally native generation, are used to moving seamlessly between the online and offline worlds, freely expressing themselves across platforms and in real-life interactions. This generation of consumers born between 1995 and 2014 has come of age during an unprecedented period of technological evolution, demographic shifts, and changing cultural norms, many of which they are leading.

According to PSFK’s Gen Z’s Consumer Survey 2022, 57% of the Gen Z audience surveyed seeks out like minded community online who share their passions. This freedom allows them to view the world through a unique lens, making creativity and open-mindedness second nature and rendering old constructs and binary norms irrelevant. They are a generation that is able to adapt to new tech and is simultaneously creator and consumer.

Report Overview

Within this Generation Z retail report, PSFK provides brands and retailers with a framework that helps them to make sense of this life stage. It provides guide posts around brand experience transformation and ways in which they should continue to evolve in order to engage with this new generation of consumers.

What You’ll Learn In This Report

  • How these digital natives in their daily lives respond to companies that connect to their values of authenticity, transparency, empowerment, customization and personalization.
  • On purchasing habits, why an overwhelming 71% of Gen Z indicate a preference for brands and retailers that not only optimize profit, but are also focused on community.
  • How, unlike for previous generations, new brand and retail experiences not only cater to Generation Z, but are being built by Gen Z in their own vision.
  • Case studies on influencer marketing, social media apps, instant messaging and marketing campaigns.
  • The specifics that make this audience today different to Generation Alpha, Baby Boomers, Gen X-Ers and Millennial generations.

What’s In This Report?

In this guide, PSFK provides brands and retailers with a framework that helps them to make sense of Generation Z customers, with insights around brand experience transformation and ways in which brands and retailers should continue to evolve in order to engage with this generation of consumers.

This Generation Z retail report includes:

  • 8 Gen Z retail strategies for engaging the consumer including Programmable Customization, Circular Marketplaces, Fan Focus Groups, Customer Stakeholders, Ambassador Storefronts, Owner Membership and Elevated Product Experience
  • 25 best-in-class examples of how brands and retailers are engaging, embracing and empowering Gen Z consumers. These case-studies include marketing tactics, marketing campaigns, marketing messages
  • Proprietary statistics on this life stage from a PSFK quantitative consumer study
  • Consumer insights into changing behaviors, life experiences and expectations of the Generation Z consumer.
  • A study of the impact and key differences of DAOs, NFTs and blockchain tech on this Generation Z community.
  • Research into how a combination of of digital devices, social media apps and AI tools allow for personalization at scale
  • New ways of working that embrace more flexible, and ‘human’ approaches to work have broken out of the structures of 9-to-5 professional lives and into independent work environments
  • Specific needs that make this audience different to Generation Alpha, Baby Boomers, Gen X-Ers and Millennial generations.
  • Case studies from IKEA, Adidas, Nordstrom, Gucci, Michaels and more

Millennial vs Gen Z? Watch Experts Discuss The Opportunities With Generation Z

Experts in this video include: Piers Fawkes of PSFK and Retail Innovation Week, Lauren Lyons of PSFK, Lauren Chesley of SXM Media, Anthony Onesto of Suzy, Amanda Howe of Bain and Company, Stanley Lumax of NRG esports and Michael Abata of Shutterfly.

Who Prepared This Report?

This paper was developed by the same PSFK research department that since 2004 has provided trends-led innovation consulting advice to Apple, BMW, Facebook/Meta, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Volkswagen.