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Gen Z: Should We Be Concerned?

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Article Highlights:

  • Gen Z wants an in-store, humanized experience.
  • They really don’t care about brand loyalty.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested to move companies’ marketing and selling efforts to target millennials. But, there is a new sheriff coming to town.

Meet Generation Z, otherwise known as Gen Z. According to Forbes, these are teenagers who were born between 1994 and 2010. I know, who cares? But, it’s important to know about Gen Z because they have completely different buying habits to start preparing for.

What does Generation Z want?

Gen Z buyers prefers to shop in-store versus online. They are price-conscious and prefer to spend money on experiences, not material items. For example, if they had to choose between going out with friends or a new shirt, they would choose going out with friends.

They also don’t care about brand loyalty. If they feel there is a better option, they will choose the better option. No longer are there Ford people or Chevy people. It is everyone for themselves.

Dealerships understand the millennial generation wants fast, easy, and efficient processes online. Gen Z wants the in-store, humanized experience.

Think of it this way, when millennials were born, they didn’t have the technology we have today; it was created as they grew up. Gen Z was born into this technological age, lacking human interaction. This has created the need for humanized experiences.

How do we prepare?

Start preparing, but don’t go haywire and change everything over night. Gen Z ranges in age from 16 to 22. They are old enough to make purchase decisions, but are not your primary segment. Here are some things to think about:

  • Use social media to your advantage: If you haven’t created a presence online, get cracking. Gen Z won’t notice your dealership if it isn’t on social media.
  • Don’t be a robot: Have real conversations with your customers. Connect with them on an emotional level to find what their needs and wants are. Gen Z expects you to have the latest and greatest technology for them to use. It’s your job to connect with them through an engaging presentation and conversation.
  • Revive traditional values: The traditional way of doing business was to build a relationship with customers. Millennials however buy based on brand loyalty. Gen Z is back tracking to more traditional behaviors. Brand loyalty is no longer a must. A great relationship with humanized interactions is. Ensure you are building those relationships and maintaining them.

Conclusion

Even though Gen Z has technology at their finger tips, they crave interaction. Taking a more traditional approach, while maintaining a humanized, social media experience, will get their attention and attract more of them to your dealership.

I know what you’re thinking, “So really what’s the big deal? Should we be concerned?”

Now isn’t the time to stress, but Gen Z does need to be on your radar.

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Director, Brand Marketing, Reynolds and Reynolds

Ashley is Director of Marketing Communications for Reynolds and Reynolds. In her 10 years with Reynolds, she has managed the marketing strategy for several key Reynolds solutions and branding initiatives. Today, she leads the U.S. and Canadian marketing teams to drive brand awareness, product penetration, and content strategy for Reynolds and other key brands within the Reynolds Retail Management System.

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