Generation Z, Who I am and How to Reach Me – Part 1

Posted by: Sarah Steinman

Series Intro

Generation Z is known for many things. We speak loud and demand to be listened to. As part of Gen Z, I’ll dive in to what speaks to us as a generation. This two-part series will explore turn-ons and turn-offs in regards to brand personality and product promotion. Generation Z is up and coming and we’re pretty particular about what deserves our attention. Learn to earn us with Generation Z, Who I am and How to Reach Me.

Part 1

Generation Z is a difficult audience to reach. We’re a group that’s not well understood yet. As a member of Gen Z, I’m going to walk you through some things my generation values in a brand. We’re different from past generations because we’re influenced by all of them. We have been found to have many of the same values of the Baby Boomer generation; but tend to lean towards the socially liberal values of Millennials. In general, when choosing what brands we are loyal to, Generation Z look for authenticity, relatability, social and political standpoints and extended value.

Be worth our time. Generation Z has a larger focus on personal success than any recorded generation before, according to Barkley’s “Getting to Know Gen Z” report, 54% of Gen Z label personal success as the most important thing in life. Believing that our time and attention must be earned, we demand that all content have information or opportunities that are personally valuable. But there is a line, we don’t want things handed to us, just help to get ourselves there.

American Express’ Small Business Saturday Campaign

Be succinct. This group values simplicity. As mentioned above we believe our time must be earned, and not wasted. We want the bottom line first. According to Steph Wissink, managing director and consumer research analyst at Jefferies, Generation Z has grown up with the power of technology and Google searching. They are rapid information gatherers. Gen Z want things done efficiently.

Starbucks Afternoon Made Campaign

Be human. According to Barkley’s “Getting to Know Gen Z,” 77% of Gen Z value advertisements that show a more real version of life over some idea of perfection. We like to relate to the brands we like. The more genuine your message the more we’ll listen. According to the same study, Gen Z has a lot of the same values as Baby Boomers such as honesty and responsibility.

Dove Apology

Be fun. This doesn’t necessarily mean be funny, but be engaging. Something that energizes the viewer. While Gen Z are a very determined group overall, breaks and rest are highly valued. Anything that interrupts our free time is considered annoying. If the interruption or advertisement is fun, it can gain traction, even become viral.

It’s a Tide Ad

Quick note: Fun has its limits, always be respectful.

Be fun, human, succinct, and worth the time. All in all these are good ways to start effectively engaging Gen Z. We like to relate to our brands, to feel like they stand for something and to get value from every detail, including the ad itself. Teach us something, make us laugh, and make us wonder. We want more from our brands than just a product.


Learn more about Gen Z by checking out one of Jeff Fromm’s Forbes articles: Getting to Know Gen Z: How the Pivotal Generation is Different From Millennials

About Sarah Steinman

Sarah is a copywriter who loves working with varied brands. She has written for many firms including: Dairy Queen, Missouri Lottery, Gallo Wines, Spirit Airlines, and Nighthawk Radiology. She enjoys the challenge and excitement of...See Sarah's full bio.