How to communicate with GenZ in their language
The last few years have marked the beginning of a short but very important period: generation Z has come to have an impact on the economy and purchasing power. As a result, companies have found that they no longer know how to talk to a consumer segment that will continue to grow over the next 5 years and risk remaining just their parents’ brands. And the bigger the company, the stronger and faster the impact on the business, which is why we also see global companies striving year on year to catch up with GenZ.
We did one of the most representative campaigns of this kind for our client, British American Tobacco Romania, employer branding division, which needed a considerable number of GenZ candidates for financial internship positions.
By tailoring communications to their generational specifics we managed to get the most candidates in the shortest time ever for similar positions, to the point where we had to stop campaigning earlier than planned.
Next, we’ll walk you through a few things we keep in mind when developing a campaign for GenZ that you can use when developing a campaign that targets them.
Who are GenZ
Generation Z is, according to PewResearch, the generation born between 1996 and 2012. Their definition varies according to the historical, social and cultural factors taken into account, but for Romania it considers that this is the right range to delimit them from other generations: they are the social group that developed in a climate strongly oriented towards European ideals, that had access from the early stages of education to technology and that can truly be called digital natives.
All these aspects differentiate them from other generations such as Millennials or Generation X by the values they adhere to and their approach to all socio-cultural aspects. That is to say, all those elements that build relevance for them when developing a communication campaign that addresses them.
A must when you want to campaign for GenZ
Generation Z is an assertive generation and they are looking for brands that are just as assertive. GenZ people no longer want to look at classic, aspirational ads that present ideal life poses, but are interested in authentic communication, the kind that tells it like it is and shows it like it is: good and bad.
The Internship Finance @BAT campaign has focused on these issues. The spot featured a real employee, Raluca, and we integrated everything that made her authentic: from her honest opinions about the program to her blooper on set. What we wanted to achieve was to mediate as authentic an interaction with a real employee as possible.
Language and speech
It’s important to show that you understand the universe they’re in. For them, terms like “gucci“, “bro” or “dope” are not cool. Nor have they ever been. Honestly, we can create an extensive list of terms, but if you don’t read it the moment it’s done it becomes a waste of time – because they’re constantly plugged into internet pop-culture – the way they talk is constantly changing.
In addition, memes have taken the place of communication as you’d expect: they are a quick and meaningful means of entertainment, especially between close people, with a strong referential character to life experiences, personal or group.
All you can do is create a number of “information” sources where you can observe and interact with them: forums like reddit Romania, publications and their comment sections, etc. And, obviously, really understand why they like what they like by doing it yourself. You can consider this your cue to get tickets to Untold and hit the city centre bars this weekend.
Video content, especially the short one
As much as we’d like to, when communicating with GenZ the only solution is to do it on video. This is the generation that has been consuming entertainment as well as educational content on Instagram Reels & Stories, YouTube vlogs or TikTok for years. We’ve found that when targeting them it’s important to develop a 10-minute maximum piece of content that you can turn into snackable pieces of content for all platforms.
The Internship Finance @BAT campaign focused on developing a digital video testimonial, and then we amplified the most likeable and interesting parts across all social media channels.
The right mix of channels
Video-focused platforms are the most important. Sure, every project has its own specifics, but the most important thing is to go where GenZ are and not where you wish they were or where you found them last year. You’ll have to give increasing importance to platforms like TikTok, Instagram (video content aspect) and BeReal.
BeReal is our bet for 2023 because it ticks so well with both the type of authentic content they follow and the relevance to GenZ, with the platform becoming the place they migrate to, to find out what else their close friends are doing in their daily lives.
The good news is that Generation Z is still changing, and this can allow brands to try different approaches. The important thing is that they don’t lose authenticity at the expense of cosmetic communication and get their message where GenZ is and in the way they consume it.
We are waiting for you on Minio Content Blog with more material that will help you develop campaigns for GenZ. Until then, you can discover more about our campaign for BAT Romania, Internship Finance here.