As a woman born in 1998, also known as Generation Z, the most media exposed generation. I am not easily impressed by anyone or anything, including a simple advertisement or a product that has been released hundreds of other times before. And I must say that it is not easy to be original these days, but by making good use of storytelling and responding to the emotions and needs of your target group, it may just as well be the way to reach your audience and potentially let them commit to your brand. In this article I will go into more detail on the use of storytelling if your target group consists of a difficult bunch of know it all’s.
What has changed over the years?
Generation Z, born in-between 1995 and 2010, is the first generation that is exposed to an enormous amount of easily accessible information online and offline, it’s therefore not strange that they are the hardest to impress. And as a brand it can be difficult to connect with this target group, especially in this time and day full of technology and diminishing physical contact, but in addition to technological progress, there is also a lot of change on a social level. Consider, for example, the importance of radiating sustainability as a brand.
The interesting insight that comes from out of this, is that the first thing that you should consider as a brand is, ‘who is our customer, and what do they look for in a product or service, when does it trigger them?’ You have to get to know your audience, so that you can respond to their personality and needs. If after some research you have created an image of that group, you can come up with a possible strategy. Take the customer with you on the journey of the product or service you offer. “Storytelling is using a narrative to connect your brand to customers, with a focus on linking what you stand for to the values you share with your customers.”, you determine what the group sees and, therefore also what they feel about the concept you offer.
Storytelling for marketing purposes
Research shows that when a brand makes heavy use of emotion in its storytelling and tries to capitalize on it, the marketing goals go forward and you as a brand will retain many more customers. Consumers feel more connected to your brand if you attach an emotional value to it. Thus, the importance for storytelling has grown.
What tools to use?
Like I said before, it’s not easy to impress this generation, but we humans are a sucker for a good story. Gen Z is not difficult to find, because they are mainly online, it is in theory an easy target group to reach. This group deals with many ethical issues, such as black lives matter, equality for all and the climate change. They are therefore looking for brands that also support these issues and actively show this. A good way to show this support is by being transparent as a brand and by explaining the choices you make.
Research has also shown that it is important for Generation Z to show that you care, since they care about giving back. If you as a brand give back to the community, and you show this by telling a compelling story, there is a big chance Generation Z’ers will want to be a part of this journey.
The online world has a lot to offer, but it is also a black hole where billions of brands get lost in the mass. The aim is to make your story stand out, and the best way to do this is through visuals, such as video or photo. With visuals you can show what you stand for much faster than with an extensive text. Image, on the other hand, also holds the attention longer.
But besides the fact that these tools are very important, it is perhaps even more important to focus on trends, as a brand and to follow them closely. Trends are very changeable and there is often a certain buzz around them that generates generation Z, but when this buzz has started to subside, they have also very quickly switch over to another trend. As a company, think carefully about this when developing your marketing and storytelling strategy.
My point being..
So as a marketeer targeting Generation Z with storytelling you not only need to be extremely creative in the tools u use, you also need a good understanding in the terms of your customers personality and needs. These two important aspects need to eventually form your way of storytelling, which will hopefully convert Gen Z into buying your products and services. The majority that will buy from your brand will be conveyed into your based on their emotional attachment to the values of your company.