Can you believe that we are on the cusp of 2018? As we look into the new year to predict what trends will dominate, one trend that most CSR executives have consistently agreed will shape the new year is the ability to engage and activate Generation Z. This next generation of donors, customers, and employees is taking quite a turn from many of the characteristics of the Millennial generation, which is why they are being coined as the “Pivotals.” By 2020, Gen Z is expected to make up 40% of all consumers and influence about $40 billion in annual sales. Gen Z can be defined as those born between 1995 and 2015 with the oldest of this generation is just getting into the workforce. In 2018 it will become increasingly important to build relationships and better understand how to tap into this digital native generation.
Top Three Tips for Engaging Gen Z-ers:
Provide opportunities to engage in authentic ways
Gen Z will want to support good causes by doing something experiential, versus a passive engagement. This generation is on their phones 10+ hours/day, so effectively reaching them via their devices is important. A great example of this is using Instagram stories with polls to crowdsource ideas for your next P2P event, having a Facebook live event where donors can ask questions or participate in a discussion, or even allowing employees to choose which charitable endeavors they want the company to donate to online or through a voting app. One college student, Dylan Anderson, perfected this DIY spirit by creating his own fundraiser. He was able to raise over raised over $9,000 by asking his Facebook followers to pick a challenge for him to complete. He would then record himself doing the challenges, such as drinking raw eggs, singing broadway songs, or reenacting a movie scene in public. Check out his list of challenges below:
Use video and animation
Gen Z-ers were born into the digital world and therefore are digital natives- meaning they have never lived in a world without access to internet, computers, and cell phones. This has shaped who they are and how they engage with the world around them. A great example of this is Axe’s #PraiseUp campaign encouraging young men to record themselves spreading words of encouragement and posting them to social media. Not only does their ad include influencers, but it is less than 10 seconds long, which is about the average attention span of Gen-Zers:
Show how you will make the world a better place
Similar to Millennials, Gen Z-ers tend to be very motivated by purpose and more than 30% have already donated to charity. However, they also expect the companies they work for to get involved in giving back in an authentic way. Gen Z believes strongly in social equality and working hard to make the world a better place. Companies that pick a cause with a deep meaning to them and stand up for this cause, will not only develop more loyal Gen Z employees, but differentiate themselves in the marketplace by getting them to rally behind their brand. Levis partnership with the nonprofit I AM THAT GIRL is one example of standing up for a cause. I AM THAT GIRL is an organization inspiring girls to love, express, and be exactly who they are in an effort to shift girl culture. Levis has invested in a multi-year campaign supporting them through sponsorships of their annual #GIRL conference, creating specialty enamel pins and even signature jackets for the nonprofit.