Gen Zers are opening up their own consulting firms to help companies learn how to communicate with them — and they say brands always get the same thing wrong about marketing to the TikTok generation

Gen Z

Gen Z-led consulting firms are on the rise as Gen Zers hope to help companies understand their generation better.
One of the biggest misconceptions companies have is that they can market toward Gen Zers and millennials in the same way.
Business Insider spoke with four Gen Zers about the consulting firms they’ve founded. Each shared advice they have for companies that are trying to reach the TikTok generation of consumers.
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Every few decades, a new generation comes of age with the same belief — that nobody understands them because they are different from the generations that came before them. And it is true, to some extent: Each generation is different, growing up in the context of a unique time.

It logically follows then that Gen Z, the most connected generation in history, would take it upon themselves to help companies understand what their cohort wants and how to market to them.

“I’d label our generation the Purpose Generation,” Michael Pankowski, a student at Harvard University and the founder of Gen Z consulting firm Crimson Connection, told Business Insider. “Most [companies] aren’t putting in the time to truly understand us. You won’t learn how your brand can most effectively fit into the Gen Z meme lexicon just by checking out the Daquan Instagram page for 30 seconds a day.”

Pankowski, a 20-year-old from Rockville, Maryland, launched Crimson Connection in January 2019 after his first semester at Harvard. He was inspired by ads he found on his social media feeds targeted to Gen Zers that still used outdated “lingo” from 2005.

“It was clear they didn’t truly understand us,” he said. “I realized that if these companies actually had Gen Zers advising them on what we like, it would help them make better ads.”

So he got to work: Pankowski began speaking at events in places like New York, Chicago, and Boston, publishing articles — and soon, a book — letting companies know that they need to pay attention to Gen Z, the consumer world’s next big generation with a spending power that tops $100 billion. They are the most social media savvy generation, the most progressive and pro-government generation; they are also the most diverse generation and the most well-educated.

“Most companies don’t give nearly enough attention to Gen Z, relative to how important we are in the global consumer market,” Pankowski said. “In fact, some industry professionals still refer to teenagers as millennials. But for the very unhip: Millennials aren’t kids — in fact, a lot of them have their own kids.”

‘Gen Z influences all other generations’

Pankowski told Business Insider that the main goal of his consulting business is to help companies realize that Gen Zers cannot be marketed to in the way millennials are. This, he says, is because millennials mostly grew up before social media; therefore, the same marketing strategies used to reach previous generations could still apply to them.

But this isn’t the case for digital-native Gen Zers, …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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