Tag Archives: 2020

Marketing to Generation Z

Generation Z brings a unique perspective to consumerism. Instead of a silver spoon in their mouths, Gen Z is the first generation to be born with a mobile phone in their hands.

Businesses must rethink how they deliver value to the Generation Z, rethinking scale and mass production in order to focus on personalization. They must act on ethical issues that impact their products and services.

Don’t expect to reach Gen Zers with traditional marketing and advertising methods. Brands need to adapt their channels, messaging and sometimes their offering. McKinsey describes Gen Zers as Communaholic. “Gen Zers are radically inclusive. They don’t distinguish between friends they meet online and friends in the physical world. They continually flow between communities that promote their causes by exploiting the high level of mobilization technology makes possible.” This sense of community leads to great opportunities for brands. Here is how you can get into it:

1. Understand their motivations

When you set up your marketing campaign, be sure to understand Gen Z’s attitudes towards your industry in general and your brand in particular. Are there ethical issues related to your business or industry, and have you made your view on them clear? You need to address the elephant in the room. More than previous generations, Gen Zers understand that no business is perfect, so ensure you develop strategies to start the dialogue.

2. Be where they are

Mass marketing isn’t the solution. Spend time understanding where Gen Z spends their time and strategize around it. You will have to engage a wide range of potentially narrow, specialized communities. You could set up a Tik Tok campaign, sponsor an Esports event, co-create a Youtube campaign with content creators, etc.

3. Be bold

While most of us have increasingly short attention spans, it’s especially true of Gen Z. You will have to be unique and bold to stand out. Take a stand, not just with your message but with your creative approach. Give Gen Z something they’ve never seen before. Surprise them. If you do, the opportunities are endless.

As we noted in our previous article, Generation Z may not yet have the greatest purchasing power, but brands must work to build deep connections with them now, in order to stay relevant and competitive in the future.

Who are Generation Z?

Millennials have been the center of attention for marketers in the past decade. They were (and are) the focus of extensive research, analysis and brand strategies. While Millennials may not have had the disposable income of their parents, marketers were eager to establish lasting relationships that would influence their buying decisions as they developed greater purchasing power. As such, Millennials changed the way companies sell and market their products or services.

As marketers began to look to the subsequent generation, called “Generation Z”, it might have been logical to apply the same marketing strategies. But Gen Z is more than just “Millennials Part II”.

Who is part of Generation Z?

Members of Gen Z were born between 1995 to 2010. They are the first generation to be exposed to the internet, social networks, and mobile systems from birth. That context has produced a generation with unique attitudes and approaches to the world, and who innately blend virtual and offline experiences in their daily life.

Gen Z consumption behaviors

According to a RetailTouchpoint study, 47% of Gen Z consumers research items on mobile devices while shopping at brick-and-mortar locations. By cross-referencing many sources of information, Gen Zers tend to analyze not just what they buy but also why they buy.

Consumption becomes self-expression, and brands that don’t provide meaning and authenticity will be left aside. Instead of global influencers, Gen Z is influenced by their peers: depictions of real people in everyday situations that they can relate to. While Millennial influencer marketing often depicted unattainable “rich and famous” lifestyles, the best Gen Z marketing is both aspirational and within reach of the average Gen Z consumer.

One trait that Gen Zers and Millennials have in common is the desire for personalized products and services. Brands will have to adapt to people’s individual needs, beliefs, and available resources.

Finally, Gen Z expects brands to take a stand and act on ethical issues. While social and ethical issues shouldn’t necessarily be the central focus of a consumer brand, consumers do respect brands that take a clear position on issues that relate directly to their products or services. This is especially true of younger generations.

Generation Z is still developing its attitudes, biases and brand alliances. Gen Z may not yet have the greatest purchasing power, but brands must work to build deep connections with them now, in order to stay relevant and competitive in the future.

Marketing and esports: Understanding the esports fan

Publishers, teams, athletes and broadcasters share a common goal: they want to engage the fans. The more esports can attract and engage fans, the more attractive esports will be to sponsors, advertisers and investors.

But who is the esports fan? Here are some key insights on this growing segment.

The worldwide esports audience reached 395 million in 2018, according to Newzoo, and was expected to grow by 15% in 2019. Fans average 100 minutes per watching session on platforms like Twitch, Mixer or YouTube Gaming.

Asia-Pacific accounts for 57% of the esports enthusiasts, while North America is the largest esports market on a per capita basis, boasting revenues of $409.1 million. The 23.9 million Esports Enthusiasts in North America will generate $17.13 per fan this year, higher than in any other region.

Seven out of ten esports fans are males that range from 18 to 34 years of age with Nielsen reporting that the average age of an esports fan is 26 years old. Most esports fans are young, early adopters, active on social media channels such as Twitter and Reddit, and grew up online or with tech-related interests (video games, media, computers, mobile apps, and IoT).

In fact, it’s reported by Newzoo that among “North American male millennials (age 21 to 35), esports is just as popular as baseball or hockey, with 22% watching it. In North America, the most popular sport in the region, football, is only twice as popular as esports among male millennials. For male viewers between the ages of 36 and 50, football is only three times as popular as esports.”

Reasons why male fans engage with esports:
To learn tips and tricks from the professionals – 44%
Entertainment aspects – 41%
To become a better gamer – 39%
To connect/meet/socialize with other games – 19%
To participate in or see cosplay – 9%

Reasons why female fans engage with esports:
Entertainment aspects – 40%
Learn tips and tricks from the pros – 36%
To become a better gamer – 29%
To connect/meet/socialize with other gamers – 22%
To participate in or see cosplay – 13%

More people watched the finals of the League of Legends World Championship than the Super Bowl in 2018 (approximately 200 million viewers versus 98 million). It is an opportunity brands cannot miss.

Your employees are your brand

What is a QSR brand? Is it your logo and advertising? Or is it your food?

Your brand is the sum total of the entire customer experience: your advertising, your social media activities, the customer service you provide, your community involvement, the restaurant design, the cleanliness of your washrooms… and the quality of your food. Every one of these factors can and will influence the opinion of your customers.

But there’s another aspect to your brand that’s as important as the food: your employees. Many QSRs make sizable investments in-store décor but don’t invest in comprehensive employee training.

QSRs are typically staffed by students working part-time positions. Managers may sometimes not see the value in training them because there is often high staff turnover. However, a well-trained and motivated employee is more likely to remain loyal and not look elsewhere.

The fact is that students are eager to learn and want to do well: there is a sense of well-being and satisfaction that comes from positive achievements.

QSR employees are often provided with basic training on how to assemble the food and serve customers. They may recognize that customer service is important, but not what to do… or why.

They’re told “what” to do, but the “why” is missing from the equation.

• Do your employees understand your brand values and what you stand for as an organization?
• How to they fit into – and contribute to – the delivery of your brand values?
• Do they understand how their contribution helps the company, and how it helps them personally to grow?

Educate your employees on how the skills they learn at your restaurant are life skills and are transferable. They will help them throughout their career and life.

Finally, remember that continued positive reinforcement is not just important but crucial: recognize and reward your employees successes and good work. Do it both in the moment – a quiet “you did a great job with that customer” goes a long way – and in a more formal manner with a rewards program that has achievable goals and rewards.

The end result: you’ll improve employee satisfaction, retain your best employees longer, and enhance your customers’ experience of your brand.

Marketing and esports: What you need to know

The esports Ecosystem

Esports is “the next big thing”… or so we’ve been told. According to Deloitte, $4.5B USD was invested in esports in 2018 alone. Esports is not without complexity and issues, but it also has the potential to become one of the most important entertainment platforms. What is it, how does it work, and how can marketers leverage it?

What does esports stand for?

Esports is the competitive practice of video games.

Esports word

The value chain of esports

Esports publishers, teams, athletes, broadcasters and streamers all share a common goal in esports: they want to engage the fans.

Esports publishers use their large R&D budgets to develop and maintain games. They create the games and own the intellectual property, which is the main difference with traditional sports such as the NBA, MLB or NFL where the club owners control the leagues. Esports games vary widely, from sport simulation to first-personal shooter. These games can be played with smartphones, desktop PCs or gaming consoles.

Esports events also vary widely, from local competitions to worldwide events that can fill stadiums. Like traditional sports, fans who attend games in person get to see performances by the most elite esports athletes. Click here to see the biggest event in esports in 2019.

Today, esports teams and individual athletes are viewed as professional as in any other sport and are gaining huge followings with fans.

Broadcasters and streamers create esports content for their online communities through platforms such as Twitch or Mixer, playing the game on their own or commenting someone else’s play. These broadcasters and streamers have also generated loyal esports followers.

Whether you are a food brand, a sports apparel company, or another brand that hopes to attract a young, digitally engaged audience, esports represents a growing and attractive opportunity.

Millennials: Healthy Eating vs Convenience

The past decade has seen an increasing consumer trend to move away from functional foods (food that is processed, modified, and/or contains additives) toward more basic, “whole foods”.

But millennials, more than any other age group, prioritize convenience over healthy eating. They spend less time on food preparation than any other age group. They eat at restaurants and get takeout food more than any other age group. And food delivery services and mobile ordering are increasingly popular with millennials.

Millennials say that they prefer healthy, whole foods over functional foods, but not at the expense of convenience, taste, and cost.

This represents a big opportunity for health food brands and quick service restaurants (QSRs). How can your brand deliver both healthy eating AND convenience?

Health food brands should consider offering packaged, prepared take-home meals that offer convenience without processed ingredients. It’s a growing category in groceries, and these meals could also be available via your own online ordering & delivery service.

Likewise, quick-service restaurants can offer complete “meal in a box” packages via their app or website, including home delivery, making it easy and convenient for consumers to have dinner delivered right to their door.