What Makes Gen Z Tick?


It’s 2020, and Generation Z is growing up. The generation is made up of people born between 1995 and the 2010s, putting the eldest of the group squarely in their mid-twenties. Chances are that you may work alongside someone belonging to Gen Z already!

If you plan on marketing to people in this younger generation, or even just helping your clients reach Gen Zers, you’ll need to know who they are and what makes them tick. Lucky for you, we’ve got the inside scoop!

So, Who Are They?

Like we said earlier, Generation Z was born between 1995 and 2010. That would make them anywhere from 10 to 25 or so, which means the bulk of this generation was born into the post-9/11, internet-ruled world we all know today. Social media and constant access to the internet has been a part of their lives from a very young age, and this directly influences how they spend their money and what they spend it on.

Gen Zers don’t appreciate being conflated with Millennials, and it’s important to note the major differences from a marketing standpoint. While Millennials respond to influencer marketing and the direct-to-consumer model popularized by companies like Warby Parker and Dollar Shave Club, Generation Z likes to think of itself as altruistic and informed consumers and so responds to green messaging and value-driven campaigns. They prefer to patronize brands that reflect their own personal values and the values that they want to be seen as having, and with a large portion of the generation being below voting age, they like to vote with their wallets.

However, Generation Z is not immune to the draw of promotional products. Just like the rest of us, they love receiving freebies. Here are the types of products that are sure to catch Gen Z’s attention:

Phone Accessories

SAGE #67747

Even more than Millennials, who were mercilessly roasted on the internet back in the day for their sheer online-ness, Gen Z spends tons of time on their phones. Sometimes referred to as the TikTok Generation because of the wild popularity of the majority-Gen Z app, they literally grew up alongside the smartphone and have had the daily use of those little devices embedded into their lives from the start.

SAGE #56780

Giving away phone accessories is a great way to get noticed by these young consumers. From products like PopSockets and other phone grips to chargers, stick-on wallets, special phone camera lenses, and more, Gen Z will love receiving promo items that help them stay connected.

Eco-Friendly Products

SAGE #61380

Generation Z is very much driven by their core values and they tend to prefer products and companies that have a commitment to being environmentally friendly. By choosing products that are eco-friendly, your customers can not only catch this generation’s attention with cool freebies, but let their young prospects know that they share similar values, endearing Gen Z towards their brand.

Smart Tech Products

SAGE #66296

It’s not a secret that Gen Z is the most connected generation yet, so using hot technology products is a great way to get them to notice your customer’s brand. For this generation, having the latest tech is a status symbol. However, you can’t just pick any tech product. Make sure to choose something hot, new, and unique. Products like wireless Bluetooth headphones, wireless chargers, portable speakers, or tech items with funky and uncommon features are sure to catch their eye.

Patches and Pins

SAGE #50054

Scroll on TikTok for a few minutes and you’ll see: Generation Z loves to express themselves. Less label-focused than other generations, they prefer to wear items that show off their individuality and identity, and then share those outfits and items on social media. Promotional pins and patches emblazoned with unique or eye-catching designs, especially if they feature some kind of social or political message, are sure to be a hit among Gen Z.

Unisex and Inclusive Clothing

SAGE #50042

This generation values inclusivity and accessibility and is bucking tradition when it comes to gender expectations. Generation Zers respond well to apparel that is unisex or gender-neutral, which is great news for the promo world. To appeal to Gen Z, instead of needing two styles of shirt for a particular campaign, go with a single unisex tee that comes in a wide range of sizes so that no one is left out of the promotion.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when it comes to marketing to Generation Z is that they want to be true to themselves. To learn more about how to catch the attention of this younger generation, check out our blogs on TikTok, memes, and the difference between Generation Z and Millennials.

5 I like it
0 I don't like it

(Marketing Coordinator)

Caitlin is a Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. When she's not writing, she enjoys baking and spending time with her beagle puppy, Piper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *