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How to get Gen Z to fall in love with your brand

1992 was a big year for Generation Z, and we weren’t even born yet! Author Gary Chapman changed the dating world forever with his book, The Five Love Languages, and gave Gen Z the tools to know how we want to be loved. 

These five methods of expressing love — Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, Physical Touch — have become as ubiquitous as zodiac sign compatibility. As Gen Z enters the dating world, young people find themselves asking “What’s your love language?” immediately after a first date. 

But when brands are trying to seduce the hard-to-get Gen Z audience, how can companies get young people to commit to their brand? In the spirit of Cupid, here are 5 tips to get Gen Z to fall in love with your brand.

Talk to us like we talk to each other.

We all love a compliment, though not all compliments are created equal. Authenticity is key — to talk to Gen Z, you need to speak our language and know where the language we use comes from

How can you practice this? Try out some social listening. It’s never been easier to eavesdrop on Gen Z conversations and lurk on the three T’s – TikTok, Twitter and Twitch – to get a feel of what/who/how we’re talking.

Make Gen Z’s life easier with your brand.

In between school, side hustles and precious social media time, Gen Z is notoriously busy. So when a company is working to make our lives easier and improve our world, you bet we’re listening. 

How can you practice this? Articulate how you’re making Gen Z’s life better. We stan a company that lives and breathes purpose. JanSport’s #LightenTheLoad campaign showed the company aimed to not only relieve our physical weight but our stress load too. By collaborating with real Gen Zers at JUV, facilitating an online conversation around mental health and creating a resource hub for support, the campaign made TikTok’s top 2020 list!

Personalize your offering for Gen Z.

A gift for Gen Z has to be pretty special. In an age where a tap of a screen can get us personalized presents from Etsy, we want something unique and individual for our senses.

How can you practice this? Give us something we can’t get elsewhere. When Hive Social popped off last week – reaching #1 on the App Store – they were able to give Gen Zers something that the other social media apps couldn’t: first dibs on a username on social media. Finally, a social platform where I can live my one-name pop superstar fantasy…watch out @Adele! 

Show us you’re paying attention by building a community.

It’s never been easier to be distracted by the churn of content and chiming notifications — that’s why getting undivided attention matters to Gen Z. When brands build a community that’s authentic, appealing and on-brand, it doesn’t go unnoticed.

How can you practice this? Create spaces to interact with Gen Z. When you build a community around your brand and connect with us credibly, we truly feel engaged. The explosion of Clubhouse, where intimate interaction is common, has tapped into the magnetism of community for Gen Z. Consider hosting an event that is relevant to your audience and your brand. Last month, JUV hosted a Clubhouse series breaking down the trends featured in Memes & Movements, our 2020 Gen Z trend report.

Give us experiences we care about.

Ok, so for the sake of our conversation, the physical bit is definitely optional… But there are many ways that brands can connect Gen Z in a way that’s memorable, authentic, and yes, touching.

How can you practice this? Give Gen Z experiences we can’t forget. JUV delivered a series of events with Bumble that tapped into Gen Z’s love for wellbeing, music and fashion. The event buzz generated and connected with over 200,000 people. 

Now, we know that live events are difficult at the moment, but many companies are thinking outside the box to simulate the excitement of IRL experiences. Think like Berghain: a Berlin club that’s notoriously difficult to get into made headlines with a fan-made virtual simulator that playfully determined whether you’d be able to get in. There’s never been a better time to reimagine how to deliver your experiences.

How do I pick the right love language for my audience?

Gen Z isn’t a monolith; not everyone in your audience will have the same love language. Learn your audience’s preferred method(s) of expression and test-drive it. Like any relationship, it takes feedback to mature and grow together. But if you stick around long enough and declare your commitment to Gen Z, young people promise to be the most brand-loyal generation yet.

JUV Consulting is a Gen Z collective that works with companies to create purpose-driven and authentic marketing campaigns that engage young audiences. Contact us at info@juvconsulting.com if you would like to learn how to reach Gen Z, or sign up for our weekly newsletter, The Screenshot, to get Gen Z insights straight to your inbox.

Jawwad Mustafa is the Director of The Screenshot Newsletter. He’s always got a drink in hand - either peppermint tea, peach iced tea or a vanilla latte. If you see him with anything else, you’ll really need to vote for him as The Imposter. You can find his creativity on Instagram at @JawwadTheCreator.