How are Businesses Attracting and Retaining Younger Audiences?

Attention is a commodity that’s under unprecedented demand. Whenever we turn on the television, or our computer, or our phones, we’re bombarded with advertising messages, all looking to persuade us that this or that brand is worth esteeming, or that this or that product is worth buying.

As far as brands are concerned, it’s younger customers who represent the richest pickings. There are a lot of young people, for one thing, and they’re more likely to interact with the world digitally. What’s more, they’re likely to be around for awhile longer than their older counterparts, by definition.

While members of generation Z don’t tend to have as much money to spend, they do benefit from short-term spikes in income, the most noteworthy of which is the arrival of student loans in April, which forms the basis of many marketing strategies among businesses for whom younger people are a primary target demographic. 

But exactly what steps are brands taking to win over these high-value prospects? Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Loyalty Programs

A loyalty program is a fantastic way of incentivising repeat custom – and the rewards for getting younger people through the door are enormous in the long-term. Once a customer is brought through the door, they’ll be more likely to form an emotional connection, and a level of trust, in the brand responsible. If you’re offering points and exclusive discounts, then so much the better.

Social Responsibility

When polled, younger people are more likely to report that the values of the brand in question are important to them, and that shared values help to inform purchasing decisions. Online boycotts for perceived wrongdoers are more easily organised than ever, and Gen-Z shoppers are more likely to be concerned about particular social and political issues. 

This has led to a trend in so-called ‘greenwashing’, whereby a given brand will speak the language of environmentalism, throwing around words like ‘sustainability’ without really doing anything substantive. Increasingly, younger people are aware of such tactics – and they’re therefore likely to backfire if deployed without due caution.

Create Conversations

You might have noticed a trend in recent years towards major brands abandoning their corporate faces on social media, and going ‘authentic’. You might have noticed major restaurant chains like Burger King and McDonalds engaging in online ‘bantz’ with one another, or of reputable news organisations adopting a meme-styled approach to titling their videos.

There’s a lot to be said for speaking the language of young people. But bear in mind that a botched attempt to do this can often alienate the very customers you’re trying to attract. Have a style guide, and make sure that your representatives on social media are across it.

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