A neon sign featuring a love heart and the number zero. It looks like the Instagram likes icon.

Don’t be cheugy: How can you effectively market your brand to Gen Z?

Hint: the answer isn’t to cram slang into every headline like we’ve done here. Keep your yeets to yourself, please.

Gen Z includes anyone born between the mid-to-late nineties and late noughties. And they’re a tough crowd to crack.

They have sky-high expectations of your apps and websites. They’re socially and politically conscious. They’re deeply sceptical of big business. And on average, you only have about eight seconds to grab their attention online.

In short, they have a sixth sense for bullshit. So think carefully about what you put out there – before they shut down, switch off and scroll away.

Here are a few things to get you started.

1. Why being fake could cost you everything

Only 42% of Gen Z say they trust brands. And one false move (or try-hard tweet) could lose you customers in seconds.

Instead of forcing yourself to sound cool, or hopping onto a trend you don’t really understand, keep your writing simple, honest and grounded in who you are.

This means having a good understanding of your brand’s personality and thinking ‘what’s the most authentic way I can say this?’.

A great example here is Bumble’s recent set of print ads.

They explore the awkward realities of courtship in a way that’s funny, relatable and thoroughly in tune with the modern world. And better still, every word feels completely natural for a brand that’s committed to changing the rules of dating.

Because in business and romance alike, being yourself is what matters the most.
A yellow press ad for Bumble. It describes a dating conversation between two strangers.

2. Are words alone enough?

Gen Z place a huge importance on how brands’ actions align with their values.

And as a group that’s spearheaded social movements like BLM, they want businesses to be held accountable and committed to social change.

Which means you need to live up to your promises – or you’ll be called out for it. So if you say you’re dedicated to a particular issue, you need to show clear evidence upfront.

One brand that recently nailed this was UK supermarket giant, Tesco.

Rather than wax lyrical about how inclusive their products are, they simply launched a plaster that came in three different skin tones.

It was a textbook example of ‘show, don’t tell’. Especially for a generation that’s well and truly done with empty slogans.

3. Employ user-focused language to express your value proposition
Get to the point

You might have seen a ton of alarmist stats that say Gen Z, as ‘digital natives’, often juggle five screens at once – and are prone to distraction.

But this needn’t be a cause for despair. It just shows that if you don’t lead with why your reader should care about your product, they’ll just flick onto something else.

In short, it’s a challenge to write directly while entertaining your reader at every opportunity.

So, when we put together the new website for digital-first insurer, Blink by Chubb, we made sure every word was worth its weight in gold.

We focused on one key benefit, ease of use, made the site simple to navigate – and sweetened the deal with a few jokes and surprises along the way.

4. Will we ever fully understand Gen Z?

Given how diverse this group is and how they’re constantly evolving, the advice in this article should only serve as a rule of thumb.

The truth is: to really connect with younger audiences, you need to involve them in your creative process.

That means asking your audience what they like. From there, you can create campaigns grounded in real insights. Not lazy instincts.

Jay Richards, co-founder of Gen Z consultancy Imagen Insights, puts it best when he says: ‘You can’t approach all of them in the same way. It’s about finding your tribe as a brand and tapping into their passion points.’

Because ultimately, to have a proper conversation with anyone – let alone Gen Z – you need to listen as much as you talk.


At outré creative, we’re helping new and established brands alike connect with younger audiences.

For more advice and info, get in touch with us at hello@outrecreative.com