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Generation Z, succeeding the infamous Millennials, has brought with them new and unique challenges for marketers. This emerging demographic has grown up in a world immersed in technology.  They are savvy digital natives who are not impressed with traditional forms of marketing.  Gen Z desires connection over consumerism and values interaction over influence. And although they live their lives on social media, they crave personal relationships as a break from the tech-heavy world they’ve grown up in. They fully expect brands to give them the opportunity to share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences and create a genuine connection before offering up their loyalty.  

With this up-and-coming demographic will also come changes in how businesses market to them, and experiential marketing is no different.  Here are some tips and tricks on how companies can tailor their experiential marketing strategies for this new generation.

How to Use Experiential Marketing to Connect with Gen Z

Show Them You Care

Gen Z expects brands to care about the issues that matter to them.  They believe in making the world a better place and want brands to do their part in helping them accomplish that.  These cause-loving consumers want brands to share the same visions and philosophies that they do.  In fact, according to BizBash, research shows that Gen Z is willing to “spend more money on a brand if its vision and values align with their own.”  Brands should be aware of what this generation cares about, whether it’s food scarcity, sustainable products, or equality, and create experiential campaigns surrounding those causes.  In 2018, Chobani executed the “One For All” campaign at Grand Central Station.  The campaign not only aimed to raise awareness for No Kid Hungry, an organization that is dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America but also contributed to the cause itself.

Make Your Content Shareable

Gen Z doesn’t know a world without the internet, unlike their Millennial predecessors. The internet is a deeply ingrained part of their world, making them more attached to it than any other generation. For them, the internet is all about building their own personal brand, or persona.  And even if they’re not aiming to be Insta-famous, they still feel the need to brand themselves in a cohesive way across social platforms.  Brand and identity are one and the same to this generation.  Experiential marketing events give Gen Z the opportunity to take photos and record videos that can be easily shared with their networks.  Brands should capitalize on this characteristic by creating unique and shareable content that they just can’t help but share.  As a result, they’ll get more engagement, generate more awareness, and gain organic impressions.

Go Big or Go Home

Festivals, exhibitions, product launches, conferences, and the like all have one thing in common:

They go BIG.

Although online shopping is highest among Millennials and Gen Z,  data has shown a current trend moving back towards face-to-face and personal interactions between consumer and company. Gen Z processes information 25-50% faster than previous generations, so if a company thinks that their targeted ads or overexposure of their products via digital platforms is going to catch the eye of a Gen Z consumer, they are mistaken. More and more, this generation is becoming increasingly attentive to how brands personify themselves with a live audience. Whether that is in person or via a live stream format, Gen Z wants to know the personality and quality of the brand instead of what the product can do for them.

These big gatherings are the perfect platform to go big, create a multi-sensory experience, and really catch the eye of Gen Z consumers. Once you have their attention, you can move into the smaller and deeper brand to consumer relationships that this generation truly craves.

Be Authentic, and OWN IT (With the Help of Awesome Brand Ambassadors)

Gen Z can sniff out inauthenticity almost immediately. There is no better marketing method for creating authentic and genuine connections than by hosting an experiential marketing event. At no other time will consumers be able to speak one-on-one with a well-trained team of brand ambassadors that represent your company, and its values.  Make sure you select brand ambassadors that Gen Z can relate to and those who can authentically speak for your brand.  Your brand ambassadors should know your brand inside and out and know how to connect with your target consumers on a personal level.  As a result, your team will help build trust in both your company and your product, which will drive sales and create loyalists. 

Bottom Line

Generation Z may not be as confusing as you initially thought.  Do your research on this generation and you’ll quickly find what they want and expect.  To sum it all up, this is the first generation to be born into a world with the Internet.  They live in a shareable culture and crave authentic, honest, and socially responsible brands who will take them on a multi-sensory journey.  Give them that, and you’ll be well on your way to satisfying the next consumer powerhouse.

If you are looking for a team of brand ambassadors who can relate to Gen Z, you’re in the right place.  For over 16 years, ATN Event Staffing has paired the right people with the right skills and interests to help our clients make genuine connections with their target audience.  Our full-time recruitment department knows how to source a variety of brand ambassadors that meet the needs and expectations of the brands we represent, ensuring we provide our clients with top-notch talent for each and every event.  If you are looking for an experiential marketing staffing agency that will exceed your expectations, ATN is here for you.