4 Brands Turning To Gen Z For Help

Want to appeal to Gen Z? Why not just ask them for their help? These 4 brands are doing just that to make sure they don’t miss the mark with their marketing and products…

Listening to your customers may seem like a fundamental rule, but ill-fated ideas often ring out loudest in corporate echo chambers. Almost every week of our viral list proves just that, with scandals like Snapchat’s redesign leading the headlines. The teen-beloved social media platform’s reputation suffered when they refused to listen to users who demanded they change the app back. Meanwhile, Reddit did it right when they looked to users, not advertisers, to redesign their site. They planned out the cleaned-up but “not perfect” new site for over a year, adjusting design based on testing groups and Alpha tester feedback, according to Inc., and then initiated a slow rollout. And if Reddit users still hate the redesign? Everyone has the option to opt out and revert to the “legacy” site.

Reddit’s successful redesign goes to show that one way to show young consumers you’re listening to them is by asking for their help. And while we’ve seen brands co-creating their futures with Millennials for years, now Gen Z is being tapped for inspiration as well. Whether it’s for a redesign, a product launch, or a marketing campaign, turning to the demo you want to appeal to for help not only shows that you’re listening to teens just like them, it creates content and products that seem authentic. In In fact, 88% of 13-20-year-olds tell YPulse they think brands should get consumers like them to give their opinions on products before they create them. The entire marketing world may get a headache when they hear the universally-applied buzzword “authenticity,” but it’s buzzworthy for a reason: young consumers won’t just buy brands that…


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Quote of the Day:  Millennials have grown up in a world where consuming wine outdoors—or any location outside of the traditional table—is more acceptable than generations past.”—Kate McManus, VP of Marketing, Delicato Family Wines (Wine Spectator)

Young consumers are “killing the shopping spree.” Whether they’re signing up for the growing number of clothing subscription services (Rent the Runway, Le Tote, Urban Outfitters, etc.), shopping second-hand, or just culling their closets—young shoppers are quitting fast fashion in droves. Some are inspired by Marie Kondo’s joy-sparking brand of minimalism, while others want to help the environment—and still others are just seeking a wide range of things to wear at a lower price. (Vice)

Airbnb is launching “adventures” for experience-seeking young travelers. The site that started with accommodations and moved into one-off “experiences” (like dinner parties) now offers multi-day excursions, complete with guides, gear, meals, and accommodations. The platform already features over 200 trips in 40 countries, including a tiger-tracking expedition in Kenya and a trek through the canyons of Oman. (Fast Company)

Tyson Foods is taking on the fake meat market with plant-based nuggets. The pea protein nuggets are the first in a line of “Raised & Rooted” products from Tyson Foods. The brand's CEO explains they’re catering to the “growing number of people open to flexible diets that include both meat and plant-based protein”—aka young flexitarians, not full-time vegans. But can a company known for its meat sell the idea that “this [trend] is about ‘and’—not ‘or’”? (The Verge)

Snapchatters can shop Levi’s new Pride Month jacket via selfie filter. The Shoppable feature is first enabled by scanning a QR code found at select stores or by getting a special Snapcode from a friend. Then, users can try on the special-edition trucker jacket via augmented reality, customizing it with one of two washes and a selection of six pins and patches. Once they complete the look, users can purchase the Pride Month Jacket—without ever leaving the app. (SJ)

Amazon’s new Echo Dot Kids Edition revamps the original. The new smart speakertakes many cues from the adult version’s second generation (it’s louder and rounder) but adds special features just for kids that go beyond a rainbow-striped color scheme. The device will come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service that includes popular Alexa skills like Pinkfong’s Baby Shark Adventures, as well as an enhanced parental control suite to address growing privacy concerns. (VarietyCNET)

Quote of the Day: “Young people still have an incredible interest in the Olympic Games…But the way they are consuming the Olympic Games—the type of content they are watching and the ways and the platforms on which they are watching—are fundamentally changing.”—Kit McConnell, Sports Director, International Olympic Committee (Bloomberg)

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