15 things credit unions must know before targeting Gen Z

Many of the 'kids' aren't kids anymore. The older members of this generation are graduating, getting jobs, and need financial services. Are bank and credit union marketers reaching them where they communicate and how they prefer to be reached? Start from this Gen Z self-declaration: 'We're not Millennials.'

Here’s a poke in the eye for financial marketers from a member of Generation Z:

“My numero uno message to brands that try too hard with the things that a 40-year-old thinks we would like is: If you think ‘Oh, that’s perfect for Gen Z’ — that means it’s probably a Millennial idea and a straight path to failure. We are different.”

This quote, from a report by CNBC, may be snarky, but it’s also a wakeup call for financial marketers.

In many ways banks and credit unions got a late start on Millennials, and many are still speaking of that generation as if it were a fresh phenomenon. Yet Generation Z has already started to enter the workforce. According to GlobalWebIndex, in an international study, 33% of Gen Z is already working, full-time, part-time, or freelance. Gen Z has already begun spending money — and 77% of 18-21 year olds make P2P payments, according to Zelle. Gen Z is forming impressions of traditional financial institutions — with or without the institutions’ input.


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