How To (Successfully) Stand Out to a Gen Z Audience

Follow these cardinal rules to attract the new wave of consumers

Manaal Salman
4 min readJun 10, 2022

If you’re trying (and failing) to reel in younger customers, this post is for you. Marketing to Gen Z requires more than just clever sales gimmicks. Born between 1996–2012, this generation is socially driven and public-spirited, devoted to ‘woke’ brands that face the music and keep it real. They are unconventional, enlightened, and innovative — the progenitors of many social movements and trends that are changing the world. This tech-savvy demographic necessitaes a slightly different approach than their millennial predecessors — something more meaningful and less generic.

According to a recent publication, Generation Z represents 40% of the consumer market and yields more than $100 billion in buying power — it has become increasingly important to learn how to market to them.

1. Understand That Traditional Marketing Methods Have Met Their Sticky End

Gen Z really don’t like people trying to sell them things. As digital natives, they have outgrown interruptive advertising and have learned to tune out the noise of an irritating commercial. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling — Gen Z hates anything that invades their personal space.

They are also smart enough to see through honey trap marketing and are indifferent to traditional sales tactics. Instead, opt for a more authentic approach. Research shows that Gen Z is more receptive to value-driven, personalized content — they do not want to be treated like a simple customer. They want to build a meaningful connection with the brand and enjoy the experience of the purchase instead of the material good.

2. Build an Engaging, Inspirational Narrative

Make sure that your content strategy is founded on engagement and invention — it needs to be both entertaining and educational. Gen Z cares about more than what you’re selling — they want your brand to stand for something greater. Your brand’s message needs to be community-conscious and socially aware. Just keep in mind that woke-washing is not the answer — moral credibility is important to a GenZer.

To do this, you must first humanize your brand and give it a likable personality. Remember, your brand is not some soulless entity — your consumers want active, authentic engagement. Try to give your brand a relatable history and friendly voice. It also needs to pack an emotional punch that sways the consumer off their feet.

The more people connect with your brand’s story, the more likely they are to remember it when making a purchase. Storytelling and two-way engagement are the keys to building a relationship-centric marketing strategy.

3. Prioritize Shareable Video Content

Despite the popularity of airbrushed photos, research shows that video content is ruling the social media landscape, especially among teenagers and young adults. Anyone who wants to appeal to GenZers is going to have to dabble in videography and invest in youtube marketing. Not only will this extend your reach, but it will also increase your brand’s presence.

You don’t need big bucks — remember that your audience values authenticity above all else. Don’t try to be extravagant — keep it short, simple, and genuine. As long as you have the creativity to pull it off and a script your audience can relate to, a minimal budget is enough to pull in a loyal audience.

4. Create Mobile-Friendly, Interactive Content

Mobile phones are GenZer’s chronic companions. Now more than ever, it is important for you to downsize your brand and make it more consumable without compromising the visuals. It needs to fit into your consumer’s mobile screens and feature attractive visual content and interactive media.

GenZers also like playing around with their devices — they swipe, scroll, and pinch their screens. Your content needs to cater to their need to interact. Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile use and take advantage of social media applications like Instagram and Snapchat that offer creators the chance to actively engage with their audience.

Gear Up for Gen Z!

Gen Z is a forward-thinking generation. They have different perspectives and expectations from the brands they buy from. You must excel at your craft, be honest in your motivations, and earn their trust — you must make them believe in you and your mission. Only authenticity and transparency will win them over. So revamp your strategy to appeal to this new, demanding demographic of consumers.



Manaal Salman

~A collection of disorderly writings~ Hi! I’m a 23 year old college student writing about pretty much anything that catches my fancy.