Simple brand stories are not enough. Brands need to create a deeper story that engages consumers in multisensory ways.
Even if they are not your target yet, Gen Z is the next generation of consumer to pay attention to. Research tells us that Gen Z lacks in brand loyalty (The Next Generation Of Retail by Interactions, 2016). The next challenge that brands will face is how to reach teens and keep them as loyal as possible. Using storytelling is the starting point for engagement, but a story alone is not enough. In the past, brands would create a story around their product that would seduce consumers. However, as Gen Z begins to emerge as the next power consumer, a brand story needs to go deeper and work even harder.
Storytelling has shifted, and greater depth of emotion and experience is now required. The new generation, Gen Z, is looking for brands that share their values. Gen Z wants to know your brand’s unique purpose, and what your brand stands for. This generation is more cautious than the others and is looking for frankness. If you respect them, they will engage with you. This means that you need to think about how you can humanize your brand and bring depth through its purpose. Your story needs to say more.
As consumers, Gen Z tends to spend more money on experiences than on material goods. Despite their constant connectivity, “64% still prefer shopping in-store rather than online when given the choice” (The Next Generation Of Retail by Interactions, 2016). This is where storytelling can transform into brand experience. Gen Z is more willing to shop in store if it’s an “experiential store.” Brands need to provide interesting substance to create a holistic experience for these new consumers. With new technologies, multisensory storytelling is possible. Brands have the opportunity to provide emotional and cultural content that will stimulate teens’ curiosity and bring depth to the brand’s story.
As you begin to consider how your brand can connect with Gen Z its important to consider how they want to be engaged with. Tell a deeper story. Bring your story to life through experience. Start a conversation that will provide value to your brand and to your consumers, and you will succeed with Gen Z and will turn them into loyal consumers.