gen z marketing

Brands whose market is made up largely of Gen Zers might be wise to obtain and review a copy of a recent research study done by Snapchat and business intelligence company Cassandra. That study specifically focused on generation Z, people born between 1996 and 2010.

Some of the findings were anticipated and, as such, were not surprising. Responses like wishing to keep up with the continuously evolving landscape as well as keeping up with and adopting the latest technology were no surprise. Both interests had been discovered and documented in other, earlier studies.

While previous surveys have documented the social consciousness of Gen Zers, what’s new here is the extent to which they would support a brand that listens to them. 82% told researchers they would be more likely to patronize a company that actually listened to their feedback – positive or negative – and then responded to them with changes.

Brand action social media insight is becoming increasingly important as consumers, particularly the younger ones, expect brands to not only listen and pay attention to them, but also react and respond accordingly. Companies that view consumer feedback as open-door opportunities may discover a good foundation in which to foster positive and potentially lasting relationships with Gen Z consumers.

Innovation Generation

Snapchat and Cassandra also took liberties in renaming Generation Z  the innovation generation and suggested that brands that are innovative would also increase their chances of success with this audience. In addition to the two findings noted earlier, researchers also cited three other factors.

The first was for companies to focus on expanding the accessibility of products of Gen Zers already using the brand: 84% cited accessibility as important. The second was in making people’s lives easier (82%), followed by brands that make consumers happier. Additional comments received included seeing improvements in product performance (88%) and price (90%).

64% said they felt companies had a responsibility to be innovative. Another 62% also felt that companies needed to innovate to remain relevant in the marketplace.

Snapchat and Cassandra pointed out that respondents weren’t seeking dramatic change. In fact, 86% said they supported companies that remained true to their message. However, taking risks in product redesigns, other promotions and rollouts, and expanding into different areas ranked high among 78% of respondents.


One of the other major findings of the survey was that respondents see themselves as investors and partners in the brand’s future, particularly when they’re heard and acknowledged. They told researchers that brands sourcing ideas from consumers have an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve in adapting to change.

150-year-old mattress company Serta Simmons credits its recent success in relaunching its marketing to Generation Z to its refocus on customer innovation.

An Achilles heel discovered in earlier studies is that many brands that seek input from consumers don’t do a good job following up. Companies that can follow through quickly and effectively have an opportunity to secure a solid relationship with their consumers. Keep in mind that the cost to acquire new customers far exceeds that of retaining existing ones.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.