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 & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.