If you’re in marketing, I’m sure there’s one word you thought you’d never hear the end of, “Millennial”. What makes them tick?What are they buying?How are they buying it? As hard as it is for some us to grasp, Millennials are all grown up and it’s time to make way for Gen Z. OK, we still have to market to Millennials. Heck, we still have to market to Boomers and Gen X, but if you think Gen Z in anything like their predecessors, think again.
Millennials are about to be surpassed by Generation Z. Gen Z will comprise 32 percent of the global population of 7.7 billion in 2019, nudging ahead of Millennials, who will account for a 31.5 percent share.1
What Does Gen Z Crave?
The oldest Gen Zers will be 23 years old in 2020. This means they’ve already begun to graduate college and work their first real job. According to data industry experts, The NPD Group, this generation made 14.6 billion visits to restaurants and eateries in 2018 and now represents 10 percent of all food service traffic in the U.S. So, what exactly are they eating?
Like Millennials, Gen Z definitely wants to have more control and involvement in the foods and meals they eat. Rather than seeing food as a necessity, they see meals as an opportunity for a dining experience. That said, they tend to be more adventurous in their choices. Yes, American Z’s still enjoy their burgers, pizzas, tacos and pasta. But, being from diverse backgrounds, this generation is not afraid of trying new cuisines,and regularly seeks out authentic dining experiences from around the globe.
A large percentage of this generation also puts a very high emphasis on the quality of food they eat, going out of their way for fresh, nutritionally beneficial food over the fast-filler variety. Although not as high (7 percent vs. 12 of millenials2) Gen Z has also displayed a growing interest in vegetarian and vegan food. Many citing ethical reasons, this number will undoubtedly grow as the younger Z’s leave the nest.
The Impossible Whopper was set to contribute 6 percent same-store sales growth at American Burger Kings in the 3rd quarter of 2019.3
So, How do You Market to Gen Z?
Hmm … Shiny Thing!
Gen Z is a savvy group. They favor a personal, authentic connection with brands. They are not easily fooled and can sense spam a mile away. On the other hand, the attention span of a Gen Z’er is about eight seconds—that’s four seconds less than their millennial counterparts4. To reach this generation, you need to navigate the waters very carefully, delivering a message that is both genuine and to the point.
We Believe You
In a Think With Google report, 70% of Gen Z YouTube subscribers stated they view YouTubers (influencers) as more relatable than mainstream celebrities4. In that sense, this generation would gladly take the advice of Buzzfeed’s Worth It hosts Steven Lim and Andrew Ilnyckyj’s over that of Food Network’s Guy Fieri for where they might find the best vegan or most authentic Japanese.
Engage, Engage, Engage
41 percent of Gen Z’ers read at least five online reviews before making a purchase. They also share twice as much positive feedback than negative,so havingreviews is very important5. You will also need to be prepared for questions or bad reviews. Hiring a social media manager is a great way to engage your customers and show them that their opinions and concerns matter to your business.
Keep Things Moving
Being the first generation born into internet and Wifi, Gen Z has never known a world without tech. Smartphones are a must for locating shopping and dining options for Z’ers rather than an option as they were for Gen X and Millenials. Although only a portion of Gen Zs are old enough to order their own delivery, 2018 orders/deliveries by Gen Zs amounted to 552 million, just a million shy of Millennials for the same year. According to NPD’s Delivering Digital Convenience report, this makes having a digital presence (including app-based ordering, savings and delivery) imperative for reaching this emerging market.
Make it Easy
Gen Z also likes to save. However, in a poll, 67% of Millennials revealed they would visit a specific website to receive a discount code. Only 46% of Gen Zers surveyed stated they would go to this length for a coupon.4 That being said, it is very important for this generation to have convenient access to reward loyalty programs or discounts in one easy-to-access place.
Dining Advantage® Cards by Entertainment® provide ideal low-cost, high-value incentive solutions for restaurants and marketers trying to impress Gen Z. Featuring over 100,000 discounts of up to 50% off, users are able to choose from a broad selection of dining categories and cuisines, from local favorites to popular national brands and many ethnic places this generation loves.
For marketers, Dining Advantage® offers a low-cost, high-value reward or incentive to current or potential customers. For restaurants, Dining Advantage® provides exposure to a new generation of diners who may have not otherwise known about or been incentivized to visit your establishment.
Want to learn more? Let’s connect! Tell us about yourself and we’ll evaluate how we can help your business.