How to Kickstart Your Noodle During a Creative Block

“Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.” (Paul Rand, graphic designer)

Never does a page seem so bleak as when you experience a creative rut in design.

Design ruts are the graphic artist’s equivalent of writer’s block. And everyone has been there! The world’s most imaginative people have experienced this obstacle and found a way to battle through.

One benefit of getting stuck is that you’re forced to rediscover your own creativity! Need help getting started? Here are some different ways to break out of stagnation when you’re stuck on a design:

1. Think laterally

Designs are ultimately problems waiting to be solved.

When you are stymied by the project at hand, come at the problem from a different angle, no matter how extreme it might seem.

One way to do this is to temporarily focus your thinking around individual parts of a message, like why a client might need your product or what pictures might best communicate its benefits.

2. Concentrate on your market

What are your target customers used to seeing, and what would make them lean forward and take note?

Maybe you need to challenge existing assumptions and go for something bolder. For example, in the financial world, materials tend to be produced in very corporate colors, like navy blue and grey. How could a fresh design upend traditional concepts in a way that is appealing and energizing?

3. Try the “what if” or the “why” game

When designs don’t seem to flow, start with questions instead. Like this:

What if questions:

  • What if I only use illustrations?
  • What if I only use type?
  • What if the type made the illustration?
  • What if I draw it with my eyes closed?

Why questions:

  • Why do I need to focus on this particular product feature?
  • Why is this feature important to prospects?
  • Why is this something that will impact their life in a significant way?
  • Why is this something they need to think about now versus later?

4. Take a Quick Tutorial

While it can be tempting to rip off a design from someone else, one of the best ways to build your original muscle is to go back to the drawing board.

An easy way to do this is to jump into an online tutorial. Though traditionally intended to educate, tutorials can be a rich source of design inspiration. Don’t merely skim the tutorial and glance at the result, go through the tutorial step by step with the author.

Doing this will force you to think like another person as you try to understand the implementation of methods that aren’t your own. This can energize you to think about new possibilities.

Don’t Force a Solution

When you feel overwhelmed by your lack of inspiration, remember that feeling stuck is just another step in the creative process.

If all else fails, embrace the moment and give it some time. What seems like a rut now might be an important step on your creative journey. Be patient, learn from it, and trust that you’ll come out on the other side.

Need help with your design idea? We can help!

Chatter Matters: Use Talk Triggers to Spark Word of Mouth Marketing

When you choose a new book or movie, what influences your decision?

According to Nielsen, one of the most persuasive elements is a recommendation from your family and friends. Sixty-six percent of respondents said that, beyond the availability of a show or movie, the endorsement of others was the second biggest factor in their personal media selection.

Create Catalysts for Conversation

As social creatures, we trust the opinions of others. But did you know word-of-mouth marketing drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending and is estimated to account for 13% of consumer sales? That’s why word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is vital to your business success.

Traditionally, WOMM was spread from one person to another based on recommendations. But today, WOMM describes both targeted efforts and naturally occurring instances where users share their satisfaction with a brand. This means anything from print testimonials and oversized displays to live events and social media sharing can be used to get good gossip flowing.

But beyond great products and strong service, sometimes you need an extra catalyst to get people sharing. Unless a friend asks them for a recommendation, why would someone go out of their way to talk about your business? Because you made it so easy for them to do this! To be more intentional about sparking conversations, brainstorm how your brand can set up word-of-mouth “triggers.”

What is a Talk Trigger?

A talk trigger is a benefit, articulated with a story, that people will talk about when together. This means giving your customers something memorable, like an experience, thought, or feeling they rarely find elsewhere. Now people are almost forced to talk about you to others.

For the Cheesecake Factory, the talk trigger is its massive menu, which has hundreds of items and almost 6,000 words to describe them all. The menu didn’t just happen—it’s a strategic choice by the Cheesecake Factory that gets people talking. Marketing research shows that, due to the novelty of this product, 38% of Cheesecake Factory customers talked about the menu afterward being asked. The bizarre menu is a simple thing that encourages conversation and makes customers advocate for the brand.

Hosting an event? Don’t let opportunities for talk triggers pass you by! Perhaps you can host a “Meet the Speakers” reception, where featured guests also sign books, pose for selfies, and answer questions. Nothing is more “shareable” than an experience where guests are front-row participants.

Want to surprise and delight customers? When they register for an event or product, make the last question you ask something like, “what is your favorite kind of treat?” Give customers options like chocolate, flavored popcorn, or snack mixes and surprise them with a personalized, complimentary goodie when they come in for a service or an event.

Original, Unexpected, or Uniquely You

Every company can create a talk trigger – something remarkable, relevant to customers, and repeatable – so it can be offered consistently over time.

Need inspiration for creating your own talk triggers? Start by mapping the customer journey and identifying potential touchpoints or places for triggers. Then interview new customers and long-time loyalists to get their perspective on your brand. From here, have fun brainstorming! Create something original, unexpected, or uniquely you.

What can you do that your clients don’t see coming? That’s how you get them talking.

Shout Your Brand Identity with Strategic, Clever Imagery

If a picture paints a thousand words, then brand imagery is one of the most dynamic means for communicating with your customers.

From stained-glass church windows to the world-renowned Nike swoosh, images add immediacy, power, and clarity to your ideas, with a transformative effect on a brand’s overall impact. Colors and graphic metaphors have surprising staying power, so it’s important to consider every element you include in your brand imagery.

Brand Identity vs. Brand Imagery

So, what is the difference between brand identity and brand imagery?

Brand identity is the image or character of your business as people relate to it. For example, the BMW image of elite luxury has grown naturally from customers’ repeated exposure to BMW’s ads, endorsements, and products.

Brand imagery is the aesthetic appearance of your brand’s core identity and messaging. This is a result of all the visuals that represent your brand’s identity. These visuals may include anything from billboards to print ads or website banners to product packaging. Great imagery goes beyond simple appearance; the idea is to connect the right messages with your target audience so that they will have strong feelings that prompt a response.

Choosing brand imagery isn’t rocket science, but it takes some careful planning. Before you start slapping images on the page, think about these foundational elements:

Consistent Photography

How do the best brands convey their identity? They use graphics consistent with their brand character.

Burt’s Bees, an international personal-care company, has focused its products on nature from day one. Whether it’s their infamous lip balms or their newer makeup line, Burt’s always sticks to this mantra: “Providing customers with the best nature has to offer.”

From their “Whoa, Natural” print ads to their “unfiltered” social media posts, every image they use has an element of nature. Sometimes it’s through an eye shadow pencil held against a background of trees, while in others, it’s a little bit of honey accompanying a facial scrub.

On-Brand Colors

While colors offer a great deal of flexibility, it helps to define larger color palettes that encompass your brand.

Since colors carry psychological weight, selecting color patterns in advance can help you convey the right emotions or moods. Start with identifying a base, accent, and neutral blend. Cohesive color schemes should be woven into your logo, store design, advertisements, and even uniforms, so choose carefully and have fun!

Viewer Perspective

The GoPro technology company is all about taking their cameras everywhere you go, no matter the journey.

GoPro photos scream adventure, with deep, natural blues or stunning orange reflections. But beyond the colors, many brand photos are taken from the perspective of the camera operator. For example, perhaps a landscape with bike handlebars in the perimeter or a shot of a pair of feet on the high dive as a viewer gazes down into an Olympic pool.

When you want to generate intense emotions, set your viewers in the driver’s seat as you put them behind the lens of the delightful experience you’re offering.

Authentic Messaging

Finally, it’s essential to ask whether your images are truthful.

Can you deliver on the experience you promise in your advertising? Aesthetic is important, but it’s not enough to win over an audience on its own. Brand loyalists will only arise when they see your brand imagery as authentic to the experience your business can bring.

Compelling Images Create Community

Successful brand imagery can build an internal narrative and external community, prompting customers not just to “buy” your product but to “buy into” to your brand image.

Finding images that perfectly represents your brand is more than a strategy, it’s an essential part of your identity. Spark consumer confidence and generational loyalty as you mobilize fantastic images to shout your identity in unique, inspiring ways.

Shout Your News with Stylish Printed Announcements

Have you recently won an award, reached a milestone, or done something pretty incredible?

Whether you’re launching a product or expanding to a new market, your business or organization can share the news far and wide with printed announcement cards. In a world of digital noise, the medium is just as important as the message, so why not opt for something more personal and pristine with gorgeous custom announcements?

Share Something Special and Significant

Announcement cards offer a wonderful way to market your events, products, achievements, or stay in touch with your clients. These stylish notes are more than just fluff; they denote something of significance that boosts your brand and business.

Want to put your news at their fingertips? Here are just a few catchy headers:

  • Launching SOON
  • Coming to a neighborhood near you
  • We’re Hiring
  • The Future is HERE
  • You asked, we answered . . .
  • Save 20% more time with _____!
  • We’re growing. Find us at our new location __________
  • The best in the business: presenting our award winning ___________
  • Your new investment expert: welcoming MBA Edwin Harris to our endowment team

Want to have some fun with your announcements? Try one of these energetic theme ideas:

Take a photo of your team holding a sign announcing the news. Add colored party hats, streamers, or sparkling confetti.

Try peel-to-win cards or scratch-off tickets. Everyone loves a surprise, so include peel-to-win promotions (for example: 20-50-75 percent off or an exclusive 10 grand prize winners) as part of your announcement card.

Post a picture of a new location or featured team member using eye-catching props (like pulling a $100 bill from a magician’s hat or posing with a llama that is wearing a birthday hat).

Print a customized puzzle and send it in an envelope, so recipients have to put together the pieces to learn about your exciting news.

Do a mailing to your key referral contacts (or top clients) with a note and gift relating to the announcement. You may use a simple postcard for the majority of customers but add an incentive for others. For example, when announcing your new GOLD status, send bags of gold chocolate coins or gold-dusted chocolate strawberries to your VIP clients.

Keep Readers Curious

Remember, while announcements involve your news, readers will enjoy them more when you make it about THEM.

In all your messaging, focus on how your news translates into value for your friends and customers. Reiterate a special offer, a time-bound coupon, or a free sample for clients who attend your event. Use powerful action calls or “you” statements that convey benefits for the user. Whether you are a political candidate or a neighborhood business, reader-focused messaging gets the best results.

For example:

Measure Strain Without Stress

Make the Most Out of Your ________

Advancing our Community Together

Save $100 on Your Subscription When You Bundle _________ and __________

Something to Write Home About

Printable announcement cards make it easy to send exciting news to your friends and associates without breaking the bank.

From elegantly embossed envelopes to oversized foil-stamped postcards, ensure your message shines strong as you share events, grand openings, sales announcements, and more.

Drive Exponential Growth Through Omnichannel Marketing

The more technology advances, the more it is integrated into our daily lives.

From customized print ads to apps that help you find the kitchen section in your favorite IKEA store, customers are no longer confined to a single channel or platform as they interact with a brand. And as entrepreneurs become increasingly responsive to individual customers’ needs, the lines between what we do on- and offline will continue to blur.

Omnichannel Marketing in Action

An omnichannel experience is a multichannel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers that unifies many mediums to work together.

Here your print marketing, onsite displays, mobile marketing, and testimonials all tell a consistent story while providing an integrated shopping experience. The focus is on building a stronger relationship between consumers and the brand by smoothing the customer experience, generating consistent content, and multiplying conversions.

What might this look like? The possibilities are as varied as your imagination! Here’s just one example from Coca-Cola:

According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, Romania ranks amongst the top 10 unhappiest countries in Europe.

To turn the Romanian’s attention to the country’s overlooked positive news, Coca-Cola Romania launched an inspiring campaign with the hashtag #halffull and an innovative package.

The special bottle, full from the half up, displays positive news about Romania, and urges people to share their “half full story.” Two hundred bottles were sent to Romanian influencers, and the campaign appeared in contextual outdoor displays, social media videos, and websites.

Marketing manager Luliana Nedelcu said this:

“Optimism and positivity are the heart of the Coca-Cola brand, and what better way to launch a conversation about seeing the half full side than through Coca-Cola’s most iconic asset, the glass bottle? We believe this idea has the power to make a true impact, and the reactions and engagement with the campaign so far are a testament of its success.”

Customers on the Move

Why is omnichannel marketing so important?

Because today’s consumers are always on the move! For example:

  • 98% of Americans switch between devices on the same day
  • 71% of shoppers who use smartphones for research in-store say this has become an important part of their shopping experience
  • Today’s consumers average six touchpoints with a business before making a purchase, with nearly 50% regularly using more than four communication channels

The difference between multichannel and omnichannel marketing is small, but mastering omnichannel marketing can work wonders for your bottom line.

Businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t. And companies with robust omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, combined with a 7.5% decrease in cost per contact.

Why Print Prompts Action

Weaving your print and digital marketing together is an integral part of the omnichannel approach.

Print continues as a catalyst to drive online research and buying practices, and it can spark interest at crucial points in your sales funnel. Data shows that 44 percent of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing (10 percent more than people who visit landing pages after receiving an email). While under half of all consumers act on an email immediately, almost four out of every five customers will act on direct mail right away. And half of all consumers hold on to print marketing materials for future reference.

Ready to expand the role of print in your omnichannel marketing? We’re here to help you integrate the “moving parts” of your campaigns and point customers to their next best action!

Command Results with These 4 Direct Mail Brochure Formats

Ready to open doors and grab leads for your business?

Direct mail brochures are a great piece of any marketing plan and are especially useful in building consumer confidence. According to the Direct Mail Association, 56 percent of consumersconsider print marketing the most trustworthy form of advertising, and 65 percent of consumers have bought something from a direct-mail piece.

When considering your next direct mail campaign, here are some reasons brochures might be best:

Clear Comprehension

The human brain is designed to understand more when something looks “real.”

As a time-tested commodity, brochures offer an easy-to-follow layout that builds instant connections with all types of people. Brochures also connect well with memory because they engage people’s spatial memory networks.

Increased Brain Response

In this busy age of low attention spans, physical materials increase the brain response of every viewer.

There’s something blissful in physical opening print pieces: the smell of the ink, the texture of a product. And that sensory stimulation has big benefits – people continue reading longer from a physical page and retain information better from print than from digital media.

Enduring Presence

Direct mail brochures are ideal for customers who weigh a decision because people can read them many times or store them for future reference.

Brochures offer an attractive, compact option to get your advertising read or handed around to others. Every time someone new picks up your brochure, your message makes an impression. And brochures are far more likely to be saved or filed when someone needs more time to consider.

Bring Your Message to Life

When you’re building a concept for your next direct mail brochure, here are a few schematic options to consider:

1. Product/Benefit Layout

When you want to share more information about your business or its benefits, brochures provide a clean, logical layout.

Your brochure panels might tout your firm’s professional capabilities, your product’s unique selling points, or the practical advantages of your services.

2. Testimonial Brochure

Personal endorsements are extremely valuable, as prospects value others’ opinions more than any direct claims you make.

Use your brochure panels to feature pull quotes, before and after success stories, or reviews from real people (featuring names, photos, or dates). Best fit customers are influencers that prompt your readers to think, “I can relate to this person, and I trust their opinion.”

3. Question/Answer Format

Similar to a testimonial design, the Q/A format is very versatile.

Use it to address target customers’ felt needs, disarm suspicion, or present interviews with key company executives. Answering questions reduces buyer tension and creates an immediate bond with readers.

4. Fold-over Mailer with Postcard

Want to double your impact?

Try a fold-over mailer with a postcard inside. Fold-over mailers serve as both a brochure and a mini-poster and allow for heightened reader engagement as postcards are removed. Either piece can be passed to others or posted for later reference, allowing flexibility in concept and design.

Hook, Story, Offer

No matter what format you use, every direct mail piece needs a strong hook.

Most people will scan your external copy looking for a reason to read (or toss!) your brochure. State significant benefits upfront, or ask a question that must be answered. Start headlines with active verbs and keep this big question central: “What’s in it for me?”

Lead with this perspective, and you’ll entice them every time!

Build Enthusiasm with Gorgeous Print Catalogs

Do you have a favorite catalog?

In days past, the Sears Christmas edition or the Lana Lobell fashion catalogs were the birthplace of many shopping addictions.

But though these nostalgic beauties hold a special place in many hearts, catalogs certainly haven’t disappeared from today’s marketing landscape. Companies like L.L. Bean, Ikea, J. Crew, and Athleta continue to dominate sales through the distribution of printed catalogs.

And people enjoy reading them. According to USPS, 47% of people set aside catalogs to read later, and 84% of consumers said they genuinely enjoyed receiving unexpected catalogs from places they had previously shopped. Enthusiasm has soared – response rates from catalogs has increased 170% from 2004 to 2018!

Using Hard Copy Catalogs in Your Omnichannel Marketing

With a decrease in printed mail, today’s paper catalog is primarily a marketing tool – one of maximum potential during the holiday season.

The most sophisticated retailers are continuously working to build a seamless omnichannel operation, and companies that integrate catalogs, websites, and physical stores can simplify the shopping experience while closing more sales.

Print advertising is a great compliment to your online sales platforms, because print marketing often prompts greater follow-through. BRAND United reports that 86% of shoppers bought an item online after seeing it in a printed catalog.

Want to weave together catalogs and online purchasing? Here’s one inspiring example of a killer omnichannel strategy.

Quadratic: Selling the Adventure

For 30 years, Quadratic has prided itself on providing Jeep enthusiasts with the best parts and accessories for their customers.

From Antenna kits to light bars, Quadratic is committed to providing parts and accessories for daily on- and off-road needs.

Today millions of people receive Quadratec’s printed catalog in the mail. Even though there are more products on the company’s website than in their catalog, Quadratec uses printed catalogs to demonstrate it is an authoritative brand leader. Jeep enthusiasts love “jeeping,” and there’s just something about a giant catalog that gets that adventurer’s heart pumping!

In combination with its print success, Quadratec has elevated digital marketing efforts. By creating a corresponding mobile app, Quadratec allows customers to scan each product in the catalog with a mobile device. Scanned items bring customers to that item’s specific page on the website, so customers can easily tag it for a wish list, add it to their shopping cart, or purchase it from their phone.

Is this effective? Absolutely. Since launching its first AR-enabled catalog, Quadratec has experienced a three percent sales boost, and its mobile app is used an average of 200,000 times each month.

A One-Two Punch

Direct mail meets customers where they live, and catalogs are a long-standing customer favorite.

Data shows 44 percent of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing, which is 10 percent more than people who visit landing pages after receiving an email. And because catalogs are extremely engaging, people feel more confident about purchasing when they receive one.

David Naumann, vice president of marketing for BRP, noted studies that have shown people can spend upward of 20 minutes looking at catalogs compared to the seconds they might spend looking at product images displayed online:

“When you have that physical catalog, customers might ponder it longer, even write notes on it,” he said. “It’s something you really can’t replicate in other media.”

Want to explore catalog marketing options for your business? Visit us online today for a free quote!

Unique Fold Options for Your Marketing Masterpiece

Looking to add some finishing flair to your next marketing piece?

Unique, eye-catching folds offer so much room to flex your creativity! When creating your next masterpiece, here are some fun print folds to consider:

Sliding Message Sleeve Mailers

To fuel engagement with your prospects, try a die-cut envelope that peaks through to a sleeve mailer inside.

Upon first glance, readers see one message or image. But when they slip the inner card out of the envelope, a brilliant reveal appears from the back panel.

Accordion Folds

Accordion folds are great because they fold down small but hold a great deal of information.

Accordion folds resemble the letter “Z” and zig-zag back and forth, dividing a page into thirds (or even sixths!). Use them for brochures, mini-booklets, or sticker-sealed mailers. The average accordion-folded sheet includes two folds and six panels of design space (front and back). Make the most of your real estate with this flexible, engaging design.

Poster Folds with a Zip Strip

Looking to send something large in a pocket-sized package?

Try a zip strip opener with an inner package that unfolds to a unique shape or size. Whether the folded section is wide and narrow or opens as an iron-cross brochure, this small package blooms bright for a big, memorable impact.

Roll Folds

Rolls folds consist of four or more panels that roll into each other.

Also known as a barrel fold, this option is perfect when you have a considerable amount of content but you need to keep the finished product as compact as possible. Roll folds also spark curiosity and depth as you reveal a new message or theme with each opening panel.

Exotic Folds

Like intricate origami, exotic folds are non-standard, completely unique folds created to a designer’s specifications.

Though they can be expensive, exotic folds allow you to stretch the limits in unforgettable ways. From a flower-petaled postcard to a custom-printed folding box, these highly tailored pieces will give your media a fancy, luxurious edge.

Pop-up Folds

When you want to add extra dimension to your booklet or brochure, go 3D with a die-cut and fold technique that creates a pop-up feature from within.

Pop-up pieces should instantly pique customer interest with a direct focus on the product or service you are promoting. Examples might include:

  • A performing arts invitation that reveals a pop-out “stage” once the card is unfolded
  • A fold-over mailer or brochure designed to look like a briefcase, which springs open to deliver your unforgettable offer
  • An architect’s brochure that brings to life a 3D city skyline, with revitalized storefronts in the center

A Shape That Tells Your Story

No matter what fold or design you choose, remember your story should play the starring role.

Choose a focused narrative and weave it through your imagery, tabs, pullouts, pop-up text, or brochure copy. From fun folds to creative exterior packaging, great designs will blend all these elements to share your clever, cohesive story.

Want to go a cut above the competition? Leverage your printed piece’s shape to add character or dimension people just won’t forget!

Share Your Brand Story to Create Distinct, Authentic Connections

In a noisy marketplace, businesses must work smarter to grab prospects and lock in loyalty.

But the desire for relationship is mutual. According to Cheetah Mobile marketing director Josh Ong, customers don’t just want to buy, they want to buy into something:

“Millennials are more likely than any other demographic to be brand loyal. But millennials don’t choose which brand to be loyal to at random, instead, they are highly attuned to the story that a brand tells, as well as the values that brand exhibits.”

No one can resist a good story! Need proof? Here’s a fun brand story from eyewear retailer Warby Parker:

Warby was founded as a rebellious upstart to tackle the problem of expensive eyewear because of a frustrating personal experience. During a backpacking trip, one of Warby’s founders lost his glasses. Since he was a broke grad student, he couldn’t afford to replace them, and he spent the rest of the semester squinting.

By circumventing traditional channels, designing glasses in-house, and engaging with customers directly, Warby now provides higher-quality, better-looking prescription eyewear at a fraction of the going price. The company believes buying glasses should be easy, fun, and should leave money in your pocket. Warby also believes everyone has a right to see, and they partner with nonprofits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

Warby sums up its brand story in this simple phrase: good eyewear, good outcome.

4 Traits of Captivating Brand Stories

A brand story is a valuable marketing asset.

It sharpens your values, shapes your message, and guides your sales. Here are common traits of brands with especially effective stories:

1. Start with Problems

From the beginning, successful brands have identified market needs or specific injustices.

Sharing their journey in confronting or solving these issues builds a very compelling narrative. The founder often retains an active role and holds a starring role in the company’s ever-evolving story.

2. Embrace Underdog Status

Everyone loves an underdog.

Brands that are (or were) on the outsider are considered disruptors. Their adventures in confronting the establishment make them easy to love and fun to listen to.

3. Foster Niche Lifestyle Communities

Brands that have a clear identity and purpose can to form more meaningful connections that result in truly devoted fans.

Make your brand integral to the lifestyle your prospects covet. When emotional attachments to brands are built, this connection often starts with a shared conviction or a particular life vision.

4. Stand for Something Specific

Most people aren’t particularly loyal to a company; instead, they are loyal to what that company stands for.

A recent study published by the Harvard Business Review showed that, of those consumers that had a strong relationship with a brand or business, 64 percent cited “shared values” as the primary reason. Companies that stand for more than just dollar signs will forge emotional connections with their customers.

Whether its fostering sustainability or giving back to specific communities, a commitment to social good can make your brand story more authentic and memorable.

Share Your Story Today

What is your brand story?

You may believe you don’t have a story to tell, but that’s just not true! Every firm can share a portrait of who they are and why they exist. This may include your mission, inspiration, or goals and it can be shared through direct mail, photography, banners, blogs, and any medium that authentically touches people.

Stories create something your clients want to be part of, building confidence and receptivity. People buy into what they trust, so find your story and share it today!

Snag Younger Customers: How to Build Connections with Generation Z

With the oldest of Generation Z graduating and entering the workforce, it’s time to set your sights on this powerful consumer demographic.

Who are these Gen Z individuals, and what is the most effective way to reach them? While many media companies have written them off as “screen addicts,” Gen Z is actually very nimble, engaged, and unique.

Here are a few facts to consider:

  • As of 2020, Gen Z makes up more than 40% of U.S. consumers.
  • Born after 1996, most members of this generation are not yet old enough to vote.
  • Generation Z represents the leading edge of the country’s changing racial and ethnic makeup. 52% are non-Hispanic white, 25% are Hispanic, 14% are black, 6% are Asian.
  • Gen Z logs on to social media for roughly two hours and 55 minutes each day. This is almost an hour longer than the average millennial.

Want to engage younger prospects? Here are five tips to consider:

1. Diverse images are extremely impactful

Gen Z has a natural awareness of how diversity is depicted (or overlooked) in your media.

Whether it’s custom photography or variety in your testimonials, it will seem strange (or even offensive) if your media is too homogenized.

2. Gen Z loves a good deal

Estimated at having $4 billion in discretionary spending, the buying power of Gen Z is significant.

But having grown up during the 2008 recession, Gen Z has an innate appreciation for a bargain. Gen Z will hunt for value in two ways: buying from inexpensive brands or purchasing expensive items with durability guarantees. Generous warranties and engaging in-store experiences are also a way to offer them more bang for their buck.

3. Gen Z was born social

Over 91% of Gen Z kids have a digital footprint, and Gen Z spends more time on mobile devices than Millennials.

Gen’s Z’s favorite sites are YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Because they are so visual, whenever possible you should “show,” not just “tell.” Image-based advertising and short-videos are especially effective!

4. Real is best

Gen Z people seek uniqueness in all walks of life, and particularly through the brands they buy from.

Gen Z-ers prefer brands that are authentic: 82% said they trust a company more if it uses images of real customers in its advertising, and 72% said they’re more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes. Product quality, positive reviews, and customer service are the top three characteristics that fortify their trust in a brand.

5. Give them a voice or a role

Given how socially aware this generation is, remember Gen Z-ers love opportunities to contribute, create, lead, and learn.

Whether you allow them to personalize your product or you prioritize ethical marketing (like partnering with nonprofits or standing for a cause), Gen Z appreciates buying from brands that give them a role in the journey.

Help Them Live in Person

Finally, remember that Gen Z longs to engage, and this doesn’t have to be online.

A new A.T. Kearney study reports that 81% of Gen Z respondents prefer to purchase in stores, 73% like to discover new products in stores, and 58% browse in-store selections to disconnect from social media and live in the moment.

From gorgeous window banners to sharp point-of-purchase displays, sensory impact plays a principal role in creating the right mood for an impulse purchase.