How to Reach Gen Z in 2024: Leading With Humor & Shared Values

Across generations, US adults prefer brands that reflect their social values

5 Considerations for Reaching Gen Z in 2024

Successfully engaging Gen Z consumers in 2024 requires a nuanced comprehension of their distinctive tendencies and behaviors. Brands must subsequently attune their marketing tactics to align with Gen Z preferences to resonate with this demographic effectively.

New data from Insider Intelligence provides insights into advantageous engagement strategies showing brands how to reach Gen Z in 2024.

1. Embrace Humor But Don’t Over Do It

Harnessing humor is an optimal avenue for forming meaningful connections with Gen Z. However, brands must exercise prudence, as Gen Z is cautious about humor, mainly internet memes. Comic content must match Gen Z’s wit to gain traction.

Gen Z is discerning of humor, mainly memes. They favor content that resonates with their sense of humor, especially on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, which are central to their online activity. Brands must stay current with trends on these platforms to engage with Gen Z consumers effectively.

See the comprehensive list of Gen Z trends for 2023

Platforms like TikTok and Instagram constitute social media ecosystem cornerstones for Generation Z. Around these platforms’ current events and trends orbit Gen Z’s predominant online activity. Accordingly, brands that engage this mobile-first demographic must maintain an up-to-the-minute pulse on emerging trends within these vital social channels. The ability to nimbly react to viral memes with relevant content represents an essential capability for marketers seeking Gen Z’s attention in 2024 and beyond.

2. Showcase Sustainability

Compared to preceding generations, Gen Z tends to espouse more prudent clothing consumption patterns, buying less apparel overall. Additionally, this conscientious cohort analyzes prospective purchases through a meticulous lens before swiping their cards, determined to invest solely in items imparting lasting value.

Aligning with these mindful shopping behaviors, Gen Z highly prizes business sustainability practices, gravitating towards brands exuding stewardship for people and the planet. Rather than endlessly amass fast fashion garments that rapidly rescind style relevance, Gen Z seeks to curate a versatile, lasting everyday wardrobe. They will splash out for hardworking foundation pieces promising years of use, like elevating their collection with a transeasonal overcoat or punctuating ensembles with wearable accessories.

2024 Instagram trend talk

In 2024, Gen Z is expected to emphasize sustainable fashion. They increasingly lean towards purchasing fewer new garments, frequently wearing the same outfits, and supporting local businesses. According to Instagram, the top five sustainable fashion behaviors anticipated from Gen Z in 2024:

  1. Reduced Acquisition of New Apparel
  2. Regularly Wearing the Same Clothes
  3. Patronizing Local Clothing Stores
  4. Engaging in Thrift Shopping

This shift in consumption mentality underscores marketers’ need to highlight corporate sustainability, offer adaptable essentials, provide mix-and-match styling inspiration, and creatively reimagine existing product uses. Taking these conscious steps to sync with conscientious Gen Z priorities promises enhanced brand resonance with this highly selective yet influential shopper demographic.

3. Prioritize Personalization

As digital natives for whom technology permeates life experience, Generation Z brand preferences profoundly diverge from previous cohorts. Rather than default to established labels touting household notoriety, discerning Gen Z consciously curate their affiliations to imprint distinct individuality. They seek brands exuding authenticity – ones displaying core values resonating harmoniously with their worldviews across dimensions spanning ethics, sustainability, diversity, and inclusion.

Additionally, having entered adulthood witnessing influencer culture’s ascent, where standing out wins attention, Gen Z craves channels enabling personalized self-expression, alchemizing identity into influence. Hence, brands emphasizing customization, whether via product offering or messaging, stand primed to spark interest in this demographic in 2024.

key insights

Gen Z discovers products on social media mainly by watching videos (68%) and influencer content (47.8%). While they enjoy social entertainment on platforms like TikTok, they value real connections. (Source)

To effectively court Gen Z, brands must thus broadcast aligned values, champion causes this conscience-driven cohort cares about, and provide products facilitating individual flair. Opportunities abound for fashion labels to promote unique designs as conduits for externalizing internal truths. Expect bespoke beauty brands to find fervent followings through hyper-personalized consultation capabilities, allowing Gen Z to manifest their aesthetic visions.

Sincerity and customization are keys for unlocking reciprocal brand and Gen Z devotion as marketers engineer enhanced engagement strategies to excite this expressive generation of shoppers in the years ahead.

4. Drive Authentic Creator Activation

As pioneers immersed in digital domains since first opening their eyes, Gen Z’s decisions and directions sway profoundly according to the social media stars and online oracles they follow. More than mere entertainment, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube constitute crucibles continuously churning out influencers who command the attention of Gen Z devotees. Whether reviewing products or broadcasting brand collaborations to the adoring masses, creators possess the power to shape opinions and inspire purchase.

Accordingly, to effectively engage Gen Z in 2024, establishing an influential presence across their daily digital ecosystem is no longer optional – it’s imperative. Beyond mere visibility, brands must engineer viral vectors, allowing content to spread across Gen Z’s social graphs contagiously. Marketers who master trendspotting the latest viral craze while integrating novelty that ignites the next one will ride the momentum.

Furthermore, integrating ambassador programs and micro-influencers into organic campaigns can provide brands a meteoric boost toward deeper Gen Z consumer connection and credibility. As devotees admire and aspire to imitate the styles of their favorite internet heroes, the halo effect extends outward, dispersing to affiliated brands basking under sponsors’ endorsement spotlights. Hence, influencer integration spearheading digital engagement heightens the likelihood of ignition, accelerating Gen Z brand interest into impassioned infatuation.

5. Lead with Shared Brand Values

As Generation Z grows up in a polarizing world, societal and environmental issues profoundly shape their worldviews. Accordingly, Gen Z consumers make purchasing decisions and brand affiliations that align with their solid social consciousness.

key insights

60% of the Gen Z audience care more about their mental health than their visual appearance (Source)

Seeking salvation in an age of anxiety, Gen Z places a premium on mental wellness over physical appearance. They applaud brands promoting self-care while constructively confronting unrealistic beauty ideals that jeopardize young psyches. Additionally, observing the rising rejection of constraining gender roles, Gen Z maintains skeptical perspectives regarding traditions they perceive as exclusionary or inauthentic. Hence, inclusive brands celebrating diversity across dimensions of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more earn nods of approval from this woke generation.

By demonstrating deep dedication towards creating a healthier, equitable world for all, purpose-driven brands enacting social initiatives can channel this generation’s passion into lifelong loyalty. Supporting organizations dedicated to sustainability, mental health awareness, and advancing inclusion enables forging an authentic connection with conscience-driven Gen Z consumers.

Final Thoughts on Reaching Gen Z in 2024

As digital natives who prioritize social consciousness, strategically engaging Generation Z necessitates a profound paradigm shift for marketers. With values guiding their every decision, this purpose-driven cohort evaluates brands through a conscious lens spanning ethics and sustainability. Accordingly, connection demands authenticity – upholding transparency in showcasing initiatives advancing equity and inclusion. Though swayed by the sway of digital influencers, brands must manifest mindfulness in digital spaces – leading with humility and humanity. Ultimately, embracing shared values offers the key for unlocking lifelong reciprocity with Generation Z’s conscious community of conscientious consumers.

Effectively capturing Gen Z’s attention and loyalty in 2024 calls for nuanced marketing strategies attuned to their preferences. This means promoting sustainability, taking stands on social issues, prioritizing mental health over appearances, and rejecting restrictive stereotypes. It also requires meeting Gen Z where they live online – harnessing trends on TikTok and Instagram through values-aligned influencer partnerships. Brands that lead with authenticity, conscience and compassion will earn nods of approval. Those that fail to align word with deed will face cancellation.

The choice is clear for marketers – evolve ethically and environmentally to sync with Gen Z, or risk losing relevance with this highly selective yet influential shopper demographic.

Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.