“Generation Z” is the generation following Millennials. Pew Research has defined Gen Z as anyone who was born after 1996. They grew up with technology, supposedly tend to maintain shorter attention spans and are very different from Millennials. Gen Z has already started to enter the workforce and there is no denying the fact that they are already a key demographic when considering future credit union members.
Here are 4 things credit unions should focus on to be relevant to Gen Z.
- Mobile – Gen Z has never known a time without the internet and cannot imagine a life without smartphones. They spend an enormous amount of time on their mobile phones. Mobile devices have a lead over PCs/laptops for all their online activities. They hardly use their computers to do banking. Creating easy to use digital tools to manage and save money is imperative when you keep this demographic in mind. Just like how financial literacy workshops were created for previous generations, credit unions should create financial literacy apps for this generation.Finance themed mobile games can be a game-changer to engage with Gen Z.
- Video – Videos are a secret weapon to get Gen Z on board. Credit unions have always engaged in content marketing through blogs, eBooks and reports, but multiple studies indicate that short videos rank the highest when trying to reach Gen Z. YouTube and Netflix have always been popular among Millennials & Gen Z, but interestingly TikTok is way more popular among Gen Z. TikTok is a social media platform that features very short videos. It will be interesting to see credit unions explore mediums like TikTok to connect with Gen Z. Reaching out through videos is great but allowing Gen Z to co-create videos would be an even better way to engage with them and turn them into influencers. It will be a win-win situation for credit unions and members.
- Social Media Influencers– Traditional forms of advertising may not be very effective with Gen Z. However, social media influencers have a huge impact on their decisions and preferences. A social media influencer is a social media user who has established credibility in a specific industry and has a large following. Most of this generation follows various social media influencers. In fact, a new study conducted by market research company Morning Consult shows that 86% of people aged 13 to 38 would like to become a social media influencer. There is a huge opportunity for credit unions. Partnering with social media influencers that have some level of following that aligns with the objectives of the credit union is a great way to relate with Gen Z.
- Meme Language– This is a generation that has grown up with content everywhere. They may not be keen to read blogs or whitepapers. Communicating with images is key to interact with them. Visually engaging and creative content can grab their attention. Memes and GIFs are a great way to communicate and engage with this generation. Memes are unpredictable like Gen Z and that makes it an interesting way to connect with them.
Bonus: Gen Z’ers have watched more esports (online gaming) tournaments than younger Millennials. In fact, Amazon-owned game streaming service Twitch is becoming increasingly popular among Gen Z. Tracking these Gen Z trends and taking the right steps, will help credit unions stay ahead of the game.
Gen Z is not a challenge – they are the next opportunity for growth.