Generation Z is the most diverse and egalitarian group of Americans we have ever seen. Many established marketing strategies will have to be adjusted accordingly. Companies need to decide whether they take a stand on social and environmental issues, because this generation has lost trust in the political process and is therefore eager to vote with their wallet.
Donations do matter. Sponsoring events for those who suffer is the social good people want to see. Corporate social responsibility is beneficial to your community, but how exactly does your business affect the wide range of stakeholders they serve? Providing value to your community beyond fantastic products and great service is how you can differentiate yourself from the competition. This may include social and environmental initiatives that go way beyond donations and sponsorships.
Storytelling is becoming an effective strategy to reach Gen Z, because they are often doubtful of abstract and vague messages like healthy or natural. They want to know where and how is your product made. Are you monitoring your supply chain for ethical wrongdoing and, if it exists, how do you react? Transparency will create trusted relationships with your consumers for years to come.
You may say Gillette using a controversial video is risky. They may have lost consumers, but they have also attracted new consumer segments who value their public stance against toxic masculinity – an issue bouncing around our education system and has been in politics for decades. This new generation wants to see change and since politics aren’t trusted to provide that change, they’re looking at the next most influential group in the Country: Corporate America.
Walking the talk is crucial, though. Figuring out whether your pledged support truly materialized is simple, so businesses engaging in white washing will be called out publicly. There are plenty of certifications and alternative business models to consider. Focus on the triple bottom line, become a certified B Corp or support one of hundreds of social and environmental initiatives.