Contrary to what you may have read, the ‘under 30s’ aren’t actually a different species to the 30+. This group of Gen Z’ers and younger millennials are just more technologically evolved and digitally native, which is something worth considering when planning your comms and marketing. As someone who sits squarely in this group, I’ve put together some tips for engaging effectively with us.
We like informality – we work from home, we freelance, we dress down, we’re on Twitter, we’ve been encouraged to ‘be ourselves’ our whole lives. And we see this as a benefit. We’re used to seeing structures crumble and faceless corporations being exposed and dismantled. Don’t expect us to be impressed by authority. Get through to us by being real, personable, and funny! Humour lights up our, at times, dark world.
Build and maintain a positive relationship with us by being publicly honest about mistakes. Better to say something rather than clam up and risk people doing their own digging or deciding you’re untrustworthy. Tell the truth about what you’re selling or talking about. Though sometimes we can be duped big time, we can often see right through phony messaging. Brewdog is a good example of a – now exposed – company starting with true intentions that became twisted along the way. Abercrombie & Fitch was pulled up on its exclusionary practices, and is now doing pretty well since owning up to past mistakes and prioritising authenticity.
Less is more
We spend a lot of our time on the internet and in places where there’s a lot fighting for our attention, and we don’t help ourselves by stretching our multitasking powers to the max. We’re constantly using adblockers to combat this overstimulation and are keen to be as invisible as possible online by declining cookies, using private browsers, and disappearing social media profiles. Keep your messaging and visuals stripped-back to cut through the noise.
With youth comes malleability. If a product or message is somewhat aligned with our values and ethics, you can probably influence us, because we’re not yet stuck in our ways. Many of us started adulthood with a level of pandemic-induced insecurity, not experiencing the university life we expected, getting into the industry we wanted, earning what we predicted, or making the friends we needed. We know all too well how unpredictable the world can be, and we’ve become more flexible to cope. We hunt out experiences that make us feel glad to be alive and connect with people in a real way – use this to your advantage!
Essentially, get to the point, don’t lie, and focus on what really matters. Not bad general life advice…