Step aside, millennials; a fresh generation is in town – Gen Z has taken the spotlight. Born between 1997 and 2012, these digital natives are rewriting the rules of everything, from fashion to politics, and most importantly, how they consume information. For Gen Z, the search engine is now a TikTok, a YouTube tutorial, or even a casual browse through Amazon. This seismic shift in behavior presents a golden opportunity for savvy brands.

With an estimated spending power of $360 billion & an increasing influence (41 million GenZers shall be eligible to vote in 2024 US elections. Their influence extends beyond consumer choices to shaping the political landscape. As the torchbearers of the future, Gen Z demands a nuanced approach – one that not only caters to their preferences but also resonates with their aspirations and ideals.

But these digital natives tick differently. They crave authenticity, not airbrushed perfection. They value experiences that enrich their lives aligning with their beliefs, not just catchy slogans. So, how do the marketers navigate this brave new world and win their hearts in 2024?

Key trends that will define how brands can win over GenZ in 2024

1. The Rise of the Social Search Engine

Google, move over! Gen Z turns to social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok for answers. These platforms, with their curated feeds and engaging content, are becoming new search engines. This shift opens doors for brands to be discovered organically. Think of it as a giant virtual party where you’re not just selling, but joining the conversation.

In the past year, several platforms introduced search advertising offerings, indicating an increased focus on social search that marketers are likely to prioritize in 2024.

For advertisers, it’s not about shouting your message; it’s about being present where they are, answering their questions, and sparking their curiosity in a natural, engaging way.

2. Fashion & Beauty: Get Weird, Get Wonderful

GenZ now make up more than 40% of Pinterest’s 482 million active monthly users, and are the platform’s fastest- growing demographic. Prepare to be dazzled by aquamarine makeup, chunky hoops the size of planets, and hairstyles inspired by jellyfish!

Pinterest, a Gen Z haven, predicts these trends will explode in 2024. Campaigns with themes such as “eclectic grandpa” style, a quirky blend of retro streetwear and chic cardigans, are gaining traction. Given the platform’s impressive 80% accuracy rate in predicting past trends, marketers are encouraged to pay attention.

What drives this maximalist aesthetic? According to Pinterest, it’s all about squeezing every ounce of joy out of life and surrounding yourself with things that make you happy. For marketers, this translates to creative freedom. Embrace the bold, the weird, and the playful. Create campaigns that encourage self-expression and individuality, while experimenting with new formats like augmented reality filters or interactive quizzes that tap into Gen Z’s love for games and experiences.

3. The Midas Touch with a Conscience

Gen Z has the power to make brands soar, but they’re also incredibly mindful. They care about equality, sustainability, and the impact their choices have on the world. A recent Edelman study revealed that 73% of Gen Z consumers choose brands based on their values. So, it’s not enough to simply be trendy; brands must demonstrate a genuine commitment to making the world a better place.

In the upcoming 2024 U.S. election, the influence of young people will be substantial, as millennials and Gen Z voters are projected to make up 40% of the electorate. Nevertheless, both Democrats and Republicans will face challenges in mobilizing Gen Z voters to participate in the electoral process.

Beyond the Trends: Building Lasting Connections

While these trends offer a roadmap, crucial takeaways are, they’re diverse, nuanced individuals with unique interests and aspirations. The key is to move beyond the trends and focus on building genuine connections. Engage with them in authentic conversations, listen to their concerns, and create experiences that enrich their lives.

In 2024, the brands that win Gen Z’s hearts won’t be the loudest or flashiest. They’ll be the ones who understand their language, respect their values, and offer them more than just a product – they’ll offer a sense of belonging, a platform for self-expression, and a chance to make a difference. So, dive deep into the world of Gen Z. Embrace the weird, the wonderful, and the socially conscious.