When it comes to marketing a salon or service, we’ve been so focused on marketing to millennials that we barely noticed the newest kids on the block. Say hello to Generation Z.

At first glance, it can be tempting to lump millennials and Gen Z together; the overlap in age means that both can sit somewhere in their twenties. And yet, there are stark differences that suggest Generation Z demands an offering all of their own.

But who are they? Generation Z covers anyone who was born between 2005 to the mid 2000s, and this demographic makes up 32 per cent of the global population. While millennials were mobile pioneers, Gen Z are mobile natives. That is, they’ve never known life without the internet and are the most connected generation in history. They aren’t ‘mobile first’ – they’re ‘mobile only’.

While millennials prefer brands and companies that share their values, Generation Z likes their brands to feel authentic. Millenials tend to be idealistic while their Generation Z counterparts are pragmatic. And importantly, while millennials grew up during an economic boom, Generation Z grew up in a recession. Hence, while this generation is the largest demographic on the planet and therefore massively important to business, they’re also incredible savvy with their cash.

Sell experiences, not products
This market doesn’t have time for your obvious marketing campaign. In fact, they’re immune to it. They don’t want to hear about your latest product; they want to know how it will ben fit them and make their life better.

According to a recent study by digital marketing firm Mention, “Twenty five per cent of what you sell is your product. The other 75 per cent if the intangible feeling that comes with said product.”

With that in mind, Generation Z doesn’t care about the latest wax product you’re using in the salon, but they do care about how it’s going to make them feel.

It’s all about video
There’s a reason there are so few teenage magazines left on shelves – this generation doesn’t consume their media on paper. A recent Google survey revealed that the first platform Generation Z turns to for entertainment is YouTube. According to the survey, 85 per cent of Generation Z are active users of YouTube, making it the perfect place to get their attention.

Skip the influencer
We know – the influencer has been the must-have to market to millennials. Let’s not forget that millennials are the generation responsible for making the Kardashians a household name. Generation Z, on the other hand, value relatability. And celebrities? They’re not relatable. According to online advertising agency Wordstream, ‘micro influencers’ are the way to go. With way less followers than a traditional influencer, micros have a following of between 1,000 and 10,000, and drive a higher rate of engagement because Gen Z feels they can relate to them.

Privacy is key
This generation watched as Facebook came undone for selling personal information. And they left the platform in droves, preferring the likes of Instagram, where they felt their privacy was more protected. “A survey by IBM found that less than a third of teens are comfortable with sharing their personal details online, aside from contact information and purchase history,” says Ella Prollicott from Digital marketing agency Hallam. “Yet, that same study found that 61 per cent said they’d feel better sharing this personal information, if they trusted the brand would securely protect it.” So if you’re asking for clients’ personal information, be transparent about why you want it, what you plan to do with it – and then stick to your word.

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