Generation Fluid – What You Need to Know

Something incredible has been brewing beneath the surface over the last 10-25 years?– a?cultural reset and the dawn of a new digital day.?With evolution?being?our inherent destiny, these changes?are?pushing us as digital marketers to think?deeper and?to?think ahead.??

So, here’s to the new generation,?Generation Z?(or?Generation Fluid), born between 1995 and 2010.?Below we take a closer look into the ways in which?this?unique?generation functions.??

It’s no secret that this generation knows?EXACTLY when they are being marketed to?and?don’t?particularly enjoy?being spoken at.?Take the typical?“back in my day”?conversation, usually initiated by a “Boomer”?with?an?in-house?Gen?Z’er?– how well was that received???

Now,?imagine?that same?#OkayBoomer?eye roll whenever?an ad pops?up.??

They?are tech natives, born into the internet age?with an inherent understanding of its intricacies and ability to read between the ad lines, so to speak. This?begs the question, how do you market to a generation of people who know when they are being marketed to???

A few things to keep in mind:?

The 8 second attention?span?–?The?key is to hook Gen Z within the first 5?seconds,?or they bounce.?Literally.?Being tech natives,?they go onto the internet in search of something. They need and want that information immediately or they move on?– there’s no such thing as page 2.??

Brand Authenticity?-?Be mindful of the fact that they are children of the internet.?Everything about them is online, they’ve been building a?personal?brand their entire lives?and?are more likely to align themselves with a brand that speaks?to their values as well as the values of the audience they are targeting.??

Inauthentic, unrealistically polished?content?just won’t cut it. They?relate to?unfiltered, candid and?often?grungy advertising?and unlike Millennials, they don’t?just?appreciate brand authenticity,?they EXPECT it.???

Entrepreneurial?–?Generation Z?is all too familiar with financial recessions and?often?limited?opportunities. So much so, that?they’ve taken to creating their own.?40% of students between grades?5 and 12, have said that they wanted to run their own business. Of that 40%, 25% have already started their own business.??

Their?aspiration?to enter the corporate world has dissipated, now opting to be?change-makers and innovators of the future.?They make their own rules.??

Be Socially Conscious?-?Being socially conscious and engaging in?“hard”?conversations where they are happening is very important to Generation Z.?They?respect?brands who?join in on the?“controversial” conversations?if need be and appreciate?brands who share insights into current affairs?– educating and?actively working to create change in society.???

Collaborations?–?You’re speaking to a generation who were?born in the heat?of uncertainty.?What this says about them is that they like fluidity. They cannot be?confined,?and you should not confine your brand either.?Collaborate where possible?and?embrace the seemingly?wacky content.?

Here’s a great example.?

It was the year 2020 (dun dun dun) and Jive, the notoriously Capetonian and culturally rich cooldrink brand took to collaborating with the equally cultural and youthful BRAhSSE streetwear brand to create the #NixSugarAllFlava Campaign. BRAhSSE’s brief was to create a clothing range inspired by the product, yet not overtly branded Jive X, with the range forming the basis of the promotion.


The result was an effortless appeal to a younger audience who appreciated the on-trend, local element that BRAhSSE Streetwear brought to the forefront of the campaign. Fans could “cop the drip” (or clothing) designed with vibrant colours and personalities that aligned with the brand.

Foregoing easy access, you could not purchase the clothing, but instead needed to pay attention to Jive’s social channels and 24-hour competitions or purchase the Jive X sugarless soft drink to stand a chance to win.

Both brands benefitted greatly through this collaboration. Jive provided a platform for a young, up-and-coming clothing brand and in return, leveraged authentic, subtly branded merch that appealed to the right market. This showcases natural synergies between two usually unrelated brands/products, but more importantly, speaks to Generation Z’s core value of empowerment and individuality.?

The result? An increase in sales by 32% in the three months since Jive X launched.?

Engage?–?Find out where they are.?Social Media is no longer limited to Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.?Take to?leveraging?the power of Snapchat,?TikTok?and Reddit.?These may seem daunting to navigate as the expectations do seem high, but?do go a long way when?speaking the Generation Z, digital language.??

Create entertainment instead of content?–?Arguably?the?generation?most?enticed by stunning visuals, great video content can go a long way in capturing their attention.?By?creating?content that is?entertaining?and?memorable,?Gen?Z’ers?are driven?to convert.?Pluck?on their mental, physical, and emotional?heartstrings.??

Inclusivity?– as a more?inclusive generation, they love seeing their favourite brands celebrate inclusivity as well.?People in general?like to?feel represented?and?engaged?with?on a more personal level.??

Evidently a?hopeful,?idealistic?generation,?constantly evolving?as?thought leaders?and innovators, marketers?need to?embrace?that?brands?now?live?in the consumer’s world?on their terms?and an exciting time lies ahead for?marketers who have already recognised the opportunity to align their brands?with?Generation Z.?

Wijdane Jamari,?Ad Operations Support Specialist at?Mark1