February 13 2017

What's Next: 5 Keys to Connecting with Gen Z

What's Next, Gen Z

Gen Z is the most digitally connected generation ever, growing up and living in a complex world responsible for a significant shift in attitudes, identities and values from previous generations. When targeting this consumer group brand marketers need to understand Gen Z’s distinct state of mind and embrace the opportunities that exist to reach this generation through sports and entertainment. Octagon’s Andre Pinard offers 5 Keys to Connecting with Gen Z, a unique look at how brands can appeal to consumers ages 10-18.

HIGHLIGHT HUMANITY // For Gen Z, the American Dream is to create everything from nothing. How can you shift this story to honor the process of human struggle, instead?

FILTER THE FLOW // To this group, tech is a tool. Gen Z uses technology to wade through an almost unlimited amount of information in a limited amount of time. They apply what we call an ‘8 second filter’ to most of their content, deciding to dive deeper or keep it moving. How can you create your own version of the 8 second filter to empower Gen Z to navigate the complex world of sports and entertainment?

GIVE UP ON GENDER // The America that Gen Z is being raised in is caught in a gendered past. How can you shift the stories we’re telling about men vs. women, to be stories about people and their passions, instead?

ADDRESS THE ANXIETY // Gen Z doesn’t want you to make empty promises that it’s all going to be ok. Instead, they want you to respect them enough to tackle the hard questions with them.

GRANT SPACE TO DO GOOD // Gen Z live in a chaotic world that pushes them to consider how they can make it a better place. What would happen if you created space within sports and entertainment for them to run with their ideas?

Andre Pinard is a seasoned consumer insights research and culture expert. The Brooklyn, NY father of three has spoken at numerous conferences including Advertising Week New York, AB InBev Global Connections Summit, and SportsBusiness Journal’s Motorsports Forum. Andre can be reached at andre.pinard@octagon.com.