Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 55 seconds

The U.S. website for clothing retailer Missguided includes catchy marketing slogans and images of edgy fashions, including clothes that are frayed. Also found prominently on the company’s website are links to its Instagram shopping service and to “the Native Fox,” which Missguided describes as their favorite Instagram babe.

With a hip image, she sports a baseball cap and is found standing in front of neon signs, perhaps to convey an urban vibe. The website isn’t just targeting edgy fashion slaves. Instead, it’s focusing on Generation Z, which is typically referred to as consisting of individuals who are older than 12 but younger than 24.

Not surprising, Missguided isn’t the only company targeting Generation Z. In a ploy to target advertisers seeking to reach a younger audience, Condé Nast has just rolled out its Next Gen Campaign that features that talents of its younger staffers and cites Teen Vogue as an example of one of its publications.

The company claims its content reaches audiences of 174 million across social platforms, 102 million in digital, 48 million in print and more than 15 million in digital video. Target is also pursuing younger consumers with its At Class clothing line.

The appeal of Generation Z, not surprisingly, is demographics. The category is expected to represent 40% of consumers by 2020 and influence $600 billion in family spending, according to HRC Retail Advisory. The generation also provides attractive opportunities for digital marketing, reports USA Today.

While Millennials grew up with dial-up Internet and AOL, members of Generation Z had laptops before they could read and became well connected to social media at early ages. According to Forbes, Generation Z prefers Instagram and SnapChat because many youths don’t like the potential for “over sharing” on Facebook. Indeed, 66% of Generation Z members use Instagram compared to 40% of Millennials, according to research from Accenture.

Members of Generation Z furthermore, view social media as more than just a tool for staying connected to friends, with nearly two-thirds of youths saying they are interested in purchasing items via social media and 37% saying they have increased their use of social media for purchase-making decisions in the last year.

Despite being raised in a digital world, however, many youths—approximately 60%--say they prefer to make purchases in brick and mortar stores. Yet, more than 40% purchase more than half of their apparel and consumer electronic items online.

Many Generation Z members also believe that they can bring about positive social change and they tend to favor brands that engage in fair trade and support charities. With that in mind, cosmetic company Lush has built a near cult following by developing a strong social media presence with content that often features the company’s ethically aware brands, fair-trade ingredients and charitable programs, reports Econsultancy.

In some ways, digital marketers need to apply many of the same skills used for the general population to target Generation Z. Yet, with Generation Z having grown up in a hyper-connected digital world, the stakes are even higher for marketers. The ability to create compelling content and strong social media programs is likely to become even more important as more brands seek to cater to the unique needs of Generation Z.

Like other niches, as more brands pursue Generation Z, it will become increasingly challenging to differentiate marketing messages through social media and by promoting social causes. But as companies such as Missguided and Lush illustrate, firms that differentiate themselves by catering to the specific needs of Generation Z will have a strong and viable customer base.

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