Gen Z: Who They Are & What They Want

Oh, Gen Z, the generation of smartphone natives. This group grew up using social media platforms, streaming music and TV, and constantly battling various gaming devices. They are the demographic that falls pre-generation alpha and post-millennial and they continue to dominate the marketplace altogether.

According to Business Insider, American Gen Z members spend a total of $143 billion annually. Their data shows that 75% of Gen Z spends more than half their money monthly. These numbers are only predicted to climb. With this much control, many marketers have begun to make a shift in their marketing strategy. As they are making the shift, they must first ask what is it that Gen Z wants?

What Do They Want?

We already know to be true about this generation because they are ambitious, expressive, and change the game. The Gen Z mindset ultimately calls for a shift in marketing. Understanding this new way of thinking is tapping into their wants and needs. 

It all starts with understanding their expectations from companies. Social media platforms and other societal shifts have shaped Gen Z’s attitude towards brands and how they interact with them. 


Gen Z wants to feel that they are understood by the brands they follow. Unlike many other generations, Gen Z wants the targeted information to be tailored specifically for them. According to Marketing Dive, 38% prefer online ads related to their browsing history or entertainment preference. They tend to be fatigued from over-exposure to ads, so creating personalization can help cut through all the noise.  

Gen Zers also gravitate towards brands that stand out and embrace uniqueness. Put what makes your company stand out among the rest at the forefront of your marketing efforts and figure out how that can relate directly to your audience personally to elevate your prospects with this generation. 


Due to the trend originated by Millennials, Generation Z craves authenticity in marketing. They value word-of-mouth marketing through influencers and friends. 44% of Generation Z has made a purchase decision based on a social influencer’s recommendation, compared with 26% of the general population, researcher Kantar found in a consumer study shared with Mobile Marketer. User-generated content (UGC) and influencer marketing are highly effective tools to help reach this audience. 

Gen Zers also prefer authentic brands, with 82% saying they trust a company more if it uses real customers’ images in its advertising. In comparison, 72% said they’re more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes, according to marketing dive. If you want to gain this generation’s trust, use UGC to convey real experience and be transparent about your commitment to social and environmental causes. 

Diversity & Inclusion

As one of the most diverse generations, it’s no surprise that Gen Z prioritizes diversity in advertising. Brands that embrace diversity in body types, gender, race and sexual orientations see an improvement in how their consumers perceive them. In fact 76% of Gen Zers said they feel diversity and inclusion are important for brands to address (Quantilope). Brands that commit to diversity within their organization show a genuine commitment to the causes that Generation Z truly cares about and will leave a lasting impression. 

Gen Z’s digitally native upbringing has led them to be very savvy when it comes to advertising.  

To earn their trust, brands need to focus on their transparency and highlight their mission or purpose. Their advertising should be inclusive and feature a diverse range of individuals. They should include influencer marketing and user-generated content and adapt their messages and strategy to reach their target audience.  


Do you need help putting together a marketing plan that will target Generation Z? Give us a call today at 334.446.6149 for Brand New Ideas to target your audience.

Posted: Mar 16, 2021