12 June 2024

Written by Sarah
How to pass Gen Z’s vibe check as a brand

The oldest of Gen Z are entering their late 20s this year and may be joining your audience. Will you be able to connect with them?

As you move through life your priorities start to change – and Gen Z is no different. As some of us draw closer to 30, we’re realising we should have private health insurance and/or we need to pay attention to our superannuation. It’s certainly something I think about as 27 stares me down. And there are more of us to come, with our generation making up about 22% of the global population.

Which is why you need to start thinking about how to capture our attention.

I’ve chatted in our blog before about how Gen Z is a little different to other generations. In fact, research shows that Gen Z has turned the traditional marketing funnel on its head. You’ll need to shake things up to make us listen – and pass the vibe check.

Here are three ways you can better connect with your Gen Z audience. Don’t worry, you won’t have to keep up with the slang to make it happen.



1. Be authentic

American author and marketing strategist Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell.”

This is great marketing advice on its own, but it rings so true with Gen Z audiences.

We love when brands tell an authentic story to connect with us. When something feels too forced we’re quick to pop it in the no bin thanks to growing up in the peak of the clickbait era.

Let’s talk about how to get it right though.

Last year, the Matildas team did an amazing job taking Australia on its history-making World Cup journey. It captured the thrills, the joy, the heart and most of all the real people on the team.

The Tillies are now one of Australia’s favourite sports teams, partly thanks to the unique relationship Gen Z has with the sport. They continue to follow players like Sam Kerr beyond the national team, engaging with them via non-traditional media. Post World Cup this has only continued with stars like Mary Fowler and brick wall Mckenzie Arnold becoming crowd favourites whether in the green and gold, or club colours.

It’s brought a whole new fanbase to the sport who are eager to get to games, follow their journey and be part of the story.

And the numbers don’t lie. During the World Cup campaign, the Matilda’s Instagram account became the most followed Australian women’s sports team account ever. In the nail-biting quarter-final against France, they gained 50,000+ followers in just over 120 minutes. And the ball kept rolling – they now have a whopping 775K followers.



2. Platform, platform, platform

Gen Z is the generation of digital natives. If we’re consuming content it’s likely on an app or via the internet streaming platforms. In fact, recent data found that YouTube is the most used platform for Gen Z with Instagram slotting in at second. It’s a trend that’s forcing brands to think more like media and content producers.

When redirecting the TVC budget, brands should focus on watch, feel, vibe content or ads in the places Gen Z are. Think Instagram, TikTok, podcasts, YouTube and features in trendy newsletters. But keep in mind this content needs to cut through the noise. Gen Z are meticulous when tailoring their feeds, and they have the expertise to filter out what they’re not interested in.

However, as much as Gen Z enjoys an online experience, they actually prefer to shop in-store rather than online. For those who don’t have a permanent retail or store presence, this means getting creative with in-person activations. Like this Kate Spade December activation on Pitt Street – pulling people in with offerings of free iced matcha and surprises. The best part is, if we like them enough, we’ll spread the word on our own socials – landing you on TikTok without scrambling to recreate the meme of the day.



3. Act on your values

Gen Z is known to be incredibly value-driven. And it echoes in our spending habits, making us more likely to buy and become clients of businesses that echo our own beliefs. A study by Afterpay found that 42% of Gen Z shoppers are loyal to brands that use transparent and ethical advertising. And 57% always try to shop sustainably where possible.

Brands must pay attention to this trend as Gen Z’s purchasing power will only continue to rise as more of us enter the workforce and climb the career ladder.

So, start walking the talk and actively engage with your ethical or environmental values. One of my favourite examples of this is ME Bank – the bank that claims to be “Good to the bone since 1994.” It offers an everyday spending account* that does a little good when you use it. For every digital wallet payment from the account, the bank donates 1c to a chosen charity.

*Important note here dear readers. I learnt about this from a well-executed feature in one of my favourite podcasts.


With the above in mind, the most important thing to remember when communicating with Gen Z is our pragmatic nature, deep sense of empathy and digital literacy. It’s what defines us, sculpting how we think and make decisions. Get to know us and we’ll try and get to know you.


If you need a hand creating messaging or content that connects with Gen Z, have a chat with our team today.


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Unit 2543-53 Bridge Road
Stanmore, NSW 2048

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