Generation Z (largely considered those born in the mid-1990s – 2000s) may not make up the lion’s share of your customer base just yet, but they’re forming opinions of brands now that will last well into their adulthood. If you can capture their imagination now, their experiences with your brand, whether good or bad, will last – so it’s important you have a strategy for Gen Z sooner rather than later. 84% of Gen Z (7- to 17-year-olds) influence their ‘family’s overall spending’ after all.
Whether you run a gym, restaurant or hotel, we highlight 5 ways you can market your hospitality business to this influential generation right now.
Engage with them online
We don’t mean the usual use of a trending hashtag or the odd retweet here and there – we mean start a conversation; engage with the individual on a more personal level to create a more meaningful connection that acknowledges their existence beyond their monetary value to your brand. Depending on the nature of your brand, you can make these engagements as quirky or humorous as you deem appropriate. For example, JetBlue’s twitter consistently responds to 100s of customers every day, solving their problems, offering advice, or just engaging in a bit of friendly banter.
Create authentic brands
This goes hand-in-hand with the tip above. Gen Z seeks to be entertained and they don’t mind if that entertainment is an ad, as long as it feels genuine and authentic. To create authentic content, you’ll need to get creative and think beyond the mundane and traditional advertising practices. This authenticity reaches into all brand communications, from telephone customer service to social media to printed brochures. While Gen Y may have been satisfied if a brand stood for something charitable or meaningful, Gen Z needs you to take this a step further by humanising your brand on all fronts.
Gen Z may love the latest iPhone release, but they want more from brands. To appeal to Gen Z, the promise of a memorable experience will beat any flashy gadgets. That’s not to say that tech can’t be a part of the experience, but the way you convey the message of the tech available in your establishment should highlight the benefits of the experience rather than the technology itself.
Treat them like individuals
While Gen Z may not be fitting the bill for your products and services, to win their loyalty at an early age, you’ll want to treat them like an individual; better yet, treat them like an adult – within reason. Gen Z highly appreciates being treated with value and respect in the same manner as you would treat their parents. This can be as simple as asking them directly if they’re satisfied with their meal or the hotel room.
Get them involved creatively
This can be in the physical world or online. As the theme of individuality and authenticity persists throughout these tips, Gen Z will see your brand in a positive light if you allow them to get involved with your brand in a fun and meaningful way. For example, Lean Cuisine hosted a wall full of scales in New York City with the #WeighThis to engage passersby who wanted to write a message of how they want to be ‘weighed’ or valued other than physical weight. The hospitality industry can offer these types of creative engagement with things such as customer walls or a page on their site full of user-generated photos and other content.
While Gen Z may have some brand loyalty, they’re always researching and comparing brands to ensure they choose the best option for their needs with the best value.
At AlphaGraphics, we specialise in helping hospitality and leisure businesses deliver data-driven, automated marketing campaigns including creative, eye-catching and innovative direct mail campaigns to improve lead generation. To find out more, visit: https://hospitality.agnortheast.com/