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Build Better Brand Connections With Gen Zers and Millennials

Connecting online is second nature for younger generations, both with their friends and family as well as with brands. For Gen Zers and Millennials—who are projected to represent 30% of total retail sales in the US by next year— this requires personalized digital connections and communications.

To understand the brand engagement behaviors of Gen Zers (ages 18–24) and Millennials (ages 25–38) in a shifting media landscape, Facebook examined trends across two vertical categories, food and beverage, which typically involves shorter engagements, and retail banking, which tends to have a longer brand consideration cycle. Facebook found that regardless of the vertical studied, younger generations tend to prefer connecting with brands online. But simple connection is not enough: They also expect brands to understand their values and deliver tailored experiences. A BCG study found that incorporating more curated levels of personalization online increases the chances that consumers will promote a brand and can significantly boost revenue—in some cases by 10%.

Finding the right channels to brand build among Gen Zers and Millennials

It’s no surprise that digital channels are important for younger generations. At the end of 2018, people under 35 spent a total of 21.1 billion hours on mobile compared to 16.0 billion hours consuming live TV content. And Gen Zers specifically now spend over four hours a day on mobile versus less than 1.5 hours per day in front of linear or streaming TV. Given this channel behavior, it makes sense that mobile is a strong driver of the brand relationship with younger generations.

Within the digital realm, Gen Zers and Millennials are also more likely to say Facebook plays a role in their interactions with brands.

Types of Personalization Surveyed Ranked Most Valuable by Generation 

Relative to the average consumers surveyed, younger generations in North America have different preferences for which types of personalization they consider to be more useful in their brand experience based on four types of personalization.

Gen Z

1.Personalized: Social interaction through direct exchange with brands

2. Pre-filed: Personal information

3. Engagement: Advertisements that are entertaining/fun to watch (e.g. video, playable ads) 

4. Messaging: Proactive, personalized customer support via messaging 


1.Messaging: Proactive, personalized customer support via messaging 

2. Personalized: social interaction through direct exchange with brands

3. Pre-filed: Personal Information

4. Engagement: Advertisements that are entertaining/fun to watch (e.g. video, playable ads) 


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