Influencer Orchestration Network

Gen Z Prefers Peers Over Celebrities, Quality Over Brand Names

Today's young consumers aren't impressed with fancy gimmicks.

Gen Z may be young, but they know what they want. As the largest single audience segment whose older members are entering the workforce, marketers are paying extra attention to this post-millennial demographic. When it comes to spending their hard-earned cash, however, the same tactics used to target millennials may not be as effective. Studies show that members of Gen Z are more open to quality over brand names, are socially active outside of digital devices and prefer influencers over traditional ads.

A study by marketing firm Saatchi New York found that Gen Z isn’t impressed by clever brand names. Instead, they focus on price and quality of craft when choosing a product. Being digital natives means they have easy access to reviews online—making influencer marketing an effective way to showcase these values in an authentic way.

On the flip side of the coin, poor customer service or any manner of dissatisfying experience can easily be shared across the world wide web, which is why marketers should team up with the perfect influencer based on their passion for the brand and not the size of their audience alone.

This is especially true in a polarizing world of social issues and politics. Saatchi found that 65 percent don’t think there’s much they can do to address issues they don’t like in the news. At the same time, 79 percent said they would engage with a brand that could help them make a difference.

Expressing values that matter to this generation cannot be accomplished by traditional ads alone—in fact, 82 percent of Gen Zers will skip ads, according to a Millward Brown study. A recent Harris Poll Study found that 74 percent of millennials (20-39) and Gen Z (16-19) object to being targeted by brands in their social media feeds, as well.

Despite no love for ads, 80 percent of Gen Z (aka Centennials) say social media influences their shopping, according to LifeCycle Marketing, and it’s not just what the Kardashians are buying. YouTube reported that 70 percent of teenage subscribers relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities.

When choosing an influencer, white listing just isn’t enough—think niche, passion and authenticity—your brand soulmate.