Gen Z is coming into its own now that its older members are graduating college and starting their careers. The upper end of this large group of consumers — roughly 18 to 25 as of 2020 — increasingly needs the support and services of financial institutions. And the rest of the generation is worthy of early attention as well. Although there is some disagreement about the date range, generally speaking Gen Zers were born between 1995 and 2015.
Because members of each generation are influenced by the events and trends that help shape their expectations and behaviors, segmenting and targeting consumers based on their generation can boost marketing performance.
The six insights on Gen Z laid out below are based on a survey of 1,000 financial services customers by Yes Marketing. For each insight we give one or more examples of how large and small financial brands are adapting their products and marketing to appeal to the preferences of this emerging generation.
1. Gen Z Is Less Trusting
Financial brands are going to have to work harder to earn Gen Z’s trust. Our research indicates that they are less trusting than preceding generations. When we asked financial consumers to rank their reasons for using a financial services provider they had never worked with, only 14% of 18-21 year-olds and 19% of 22-37 year-olds included “trust in the company to protect personal information” in their top three choices. This compares to a third of 38-52 year-olds and nearly half of 53-71 year-olds that cite trust as a factor.
Advice for marketers: Help build trust by establishing yourself as a financial mentor. Create content that is focused on educating young consumers about the basics of banking and investing and create products that are specifically designed to meet their needs. In addition, make sure your brand has clear messaging about security and how you will handle consumer information.
Brand example – Key Bank. The big superregional establishes trust by providing guidance for young consumers through its Financial Wellness Center. Gen Zers benefit from helpful and relevant tips on navigating life after graduating college, including information about the cost to rent an apartment as a new graduate, or how to negotiate their salary after receiving an offer.