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Youth Marketing Trends of 2020


With every new generation, the buying preferences and consumer trends of the youth change. Gen Z is headed to be one of the most significant consumer generations, with a spending power of up to $143 billion predicted for 2020. But companies should look towards youth marketing for more than just direct profits. In an economic landscape ruled more and more by brand loyalty and values, the youth of today can be engaged as loyal future customers.

Whether you’re developing a youth outreach strategy or looking to engage with a youth marketing agency, there are a few trends that shape how brands interact with Gen Z.

Here are the Youth Marketing trends of 2020!

Ethical Brands are on the Up 

Gen Z has grown up with the climate crisis as a constant fuel for conversation. They are painfully aware of the risks the current economy can pose to the planet in their future and are conscientious about pushing the world in the right direction.

As a result, businesses that can demonstrate ethical and environmentally friendly practices enjoy particular popularity amongst the youth.

84% of young consumers say that social and environmental concerns affect their spending.

Brands can market to this new awareness by engaging in practices that are sustainable and have a positive impact. Many companies donate a share of profits from particular profits towards environmental efforts. Others have cut out certain practices or prioritized local manufacturing to lessen their carbon footprint.

Visual Marketing is Taking the Lead

With platforms like Instagram becoming a big part of the life of Gen Z youths, a trend for visual communication is emerging stronger than ever before. Young people share and engage with visual content better than text content. An image can quickly tell a thousand words and let consumers know if something is relevant to them.

As a result, visually pleasing ads on Instagram are treated more positively than ads on other mediums. 45% of Gen Z youths say they actually enjoy seeing ads on Instagram.

Passion and Purpose

We have already hinted at the fact that Gen Z youths invest in brands conscientiously. This extends far past environmental and ethical issues. Young people today want to buy from brands that share their values and engage with their passions. As such, a brand can no longer just propose to serve a function and sell a product.

Instead, companies need to speak to passion and purpose. They require a mission statement, a distinct set of values, and personality consumers can identify and engage with.

This could mean representing a social or political stance or identifying with a specific type of personality. Many small Direct to Consumer brands are flourishing as a result. They cater to the passions of the few and are clear about their stance in the world. Fashion brands for authentic, natural women or brands selling apparel or candles for introverts jump to mind.

Communication and Community

In 2020, loyalty from young consumers will continue to be inspired through meaningful interactions. Customer retention will remain a big buzzword in the marketing department. Compared to millennials, Gen Z has reported being less conscious of brand appeal. This only means that brands have to work harder to foster that loyalty.

The new generation loves interacting with brands in ways that are meaningful and unique. Brands can get a competitive edge by offering sponsored events, creating online branded games for their campaigns, and encouraging ideas for product designs. Gen Z likes to be involved in shaping the future of brands they love. This is why it’s essential to open up communication channels that engage consumers in the process.

It’s also crucial for brands to communicate authentically. Gen Z is more aware than any generation before that untruths can easily be shared on the internet. As a result, they’re less likely to be swayed by loyalty schemes or flash sales.

Instead, communicating in relatable, humourful, and engaging ways that bring value to their days is a better approach.

A more personalized shopping experience can be vital in meeting these increasingly savvy consumers in the middle. 26% of teenage shoppers expect an experience tailored around their shopping habits and preferences. Brands can provide this through segmented email lists when they market to their young target audiences.

Understand How Youth Marketing is Evolving

To successfully market to youths in today’s paradigm, researching and understanding what motivates this generation is crucial. Brands need to be open-minded and show a willingness to listen and genuinely engage. At ZAK, we achieve this through our global network of young consumers. We study what moves them, what they are passionate about, and what brands can do to appeal to this exciting and conscientious generation.

Need help with your youth marketing? Get in touch with us today to hear how we can be of assistance, or browse our white papers on the youth of today.