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How The Manufacturing Industry Can Connect With Generation Z.

If your company is in the manufacturing industry and hasn't formulated a marketing strategy for Generation Z, the time is now. Generation Z, the children of Generation X, who were born between 1995 and 2010 are already in the marketplace and have very different ideas about what they are interested in buying.

What does this mean for your manufacturing company? First, don't panic, you still have time to formulate a plan for this next generation of consumers; but you better do it fast or you risk getting left behind. Here are some suggestions on how Manufacturers can market to the rising generation.

Generation Z is Unimpressed by Technology

Generation Z was the first generation to be born with the internet. They have had the presence of mobile/smartphones for most of their lives and used tablets/laptops instead of textbooks. Generation Z expects technological advances as they have progressed at a blur during their young lives.

Whatever new technological wonders are offered in the products you manufacture; Generation Z wants to know how it will improve their lives. They care about the features of new products, but it has to be something they want to invest their money in because it can help them in one way or another. Incremental changes just to say something is new doesn’t cut it anymore unless it brings perceived value.

Generation Z has a Short Attention Span

Generation Z won't give their attention to any one thing for very long; it's not their fault; they are a product of their environment. Having grown up in the digital age, Generation Z expects everything to be instantaneous. This expectation applies to everything from your company's website loading to ordering a product online. Speed is key when reaching Generation Z.

Because Generation Z has a shorter attention span than Boomers or Generation X, their attention can be fragmented. Whereas Millenials are all about digital, it is best to look at Generation Z as an integrated approach in Marketing to catch their attention. Digital, streaming audio, and connected TV plus traditional forms like OOH advertising all should be utilized in reaching Generation Z.

Whatever format you choose, you need to make your point in eight seconds or less. Not much time to get your message across, but they are savvy enough to understand it with the right approach. Recent studies show that because Generation Z has such a vast number of things that compete for their time, they tend to skim over things. They look at trending subjects on social media and move on. They are aware their time matters and choose to manage it in a way no other generation has to date. Your company has to be able to vie for their time and make Gen Z'ers aware of how your product can help them.

The Impact of Generation Z

All indicators point to Generation Z being a hard-working generation who will invest wisely but will still have significant disposable income. They look for value over trendiness and can spot phony, insincere statements from a mile away. Generation Z is more focused on improving the world given the concern on climate change (regardless of how you may feel about it) so your messaging has to explain your product’s benefit to the greater good. If you don’t have a CSR (corporate social responsibility) policy in place you are at a disadvantage.

Generation Z prefers online shopping by far at this moment, which can be seen as a partial reason for the decline of malls and other retail outlets. They will most likely be viewing your product online and receiving it from a distribution center rather than a store shelf, so keep that in mind when designing packaging.

Don't fall behind competitors in establishing brand loyalty with Generation Z; start building that connection today and you’ll see it payoff over the next couple of decades.

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