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A brand’s guide to navigating Gen Z’s media consumption habits

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A brand’s guide to navigating Gen Z’s media consumption habits

Gen Z grew up in an era of extreme technological evolution between the late 1990s and mid-2010s. They’re what many brands call digital natives, leading the way in media trends and activity.

As this demographic group enters adulthood, they will soon become the most significant stakeholders in media consumption and hold the most purchasing power. In response, many brands are taking note of their habits and preferences.

In addition to being the most diverse generation, Gen Z has an impressive ability to adapt to technological advancements and changes. Their social media activity allows them to change the paradigm of society at the click of a post or a video upload. They enjoy interactive, culturally relevant content across a variety of platforms.

Yet while it can be easy to locate Gen Z online, it’s more challenging to capture their attention and even more difficult to obtain their loyalty. That’s why brands are seeking to understand this demographic group’s media consumption habits to encourage and secure buy-in. 

Gen Z has a circadian rhythm of sorts when it comes to the times they access different platforms, according to a recent study from Publicis Media and Vevo. And while Gen Z’s viewing is spread across devices, it should be no surprise that most of their viewing happens on a smartphone (44%).

The study’s insights, drawn from over 2,000 online interviews with people ranging from ages 13 to 54, help highlight the behavioral differences between Gen Z (13-26), millennial (27-40) and Gen X (41-54) consumers. Breaking down these media consumption habits is also uncovering some surprising trends.

For instance, while Gen Z primarily engages with TikTok in the morning and views YouTube in the afternoon, a large portion watch content on-demand through connected TV (CTV) services. In fact, nearly one-third (29%) of Gen Zs’ time spent watching video content happens on a TV screen.

Understanding Gen Z’s rhythmic approach to media consumption can help brands reach consumers at optimal times. These insights can also enable marketers to implement tactics that engage Gen Z consumers more effectively.

Gen Z is connecting with authentic content creators and brands 

Knowing what time of day to reach Gen Z is essential, but understanding who they respond to is even more vital. They’re specifically turning to brands, creators and influencers that foster authentic connection.

Gen Z’s ability to self-produce content pieces has also fueled this desire for authenticity. For instance, 48% of the content Gen Z consumes comes from content creators versus professionally produced content. In addition, research from Cassandra found that 89 percent of young consumers said it’s crucial that influencers are approachable, shedding more light on the qualities Gen Z is looking for in their preferred content creators.

Bretman Rock, a beauty influencer, leaned into these qualities to reach 8.78 million social media subscribers and eventually produce a TV show, ‘Following: Bretman Rock.’ Similarly, musical artist Lil Yachty connected with audiences via memes and music compositions to grow his fandom on social media platforms. His ability to engage fans scored him sponsorship deals with brands such as Sprite, Target and Nautica. 

Brands are emphasizing accountability in Gen Z campaigns

While authenticity is a core value of Gen Z, accountability is even more vital regarding brand expectations. These consumers are not fans of performative acts of service and are certainly not afraid to call them out online, especially when brands are the party in question.

Because Gen Z is the most diverse generation, they expect brands to embody similar values. Being inclusive, authentic and accountable regarding social causes are key value points for this audience. And with the internet at their disposal, they can quickly find out which brands are succeeding (or failing) in this area.

Brands that display values rooted in diversity and use their resources to support social causes will find more opportunities to connect with Gen Z than those that don’t.

How brands are building Gen Z loyalty

Brands delivering engaging, digestible content will have a greater chance of winning Gen Z loyalty in the long run. Emerging brands that embrace an action-forward approach to reach this audience have the potential to outflank established legacy brands simply by keeping up with Gen Z behaviors and preferences.

However, this isn’t an overnight transition, and it’s not something that brands can fake. Analyzing the media trends emerging from Gen Z — and learning from the brands they’re loyal to —- can help marketers catch this generation’s attention. 

Gen Z’s viewing and buying power are immense. Brands that fail to engage with this demographic group in meaningful ways via their media of choice could derail future outreach efforts.

Sponsored by: Vevo

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Ashley is a professional writer and editor with a strong background in tech and pop culture. She has written for high traffic websites such as Polygon, Kotaku, StarWars.com, and Nerdist. In her off time, she enjoys playing video games, reading science fiction novels, and hanging out with her rescue greyhound.

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Tesla finally delivers its first production Semi

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Tesla finally delivers its first production Semi

Five years after CEO Elon Musk officially unveiled his Semi, Tesla’s electrified tractor trailer, the company delivered its first official production vehicle to Pepsi on Thursday during its “Semi Delivery Event” held at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory. The beverage maker has ordered 100 of the vehicles in total.

First shown off in 2017, the Tesla Semi originally was set to retail for $150,000 and $180,000 for the 300- and 500-mile versions, respectively. Those prices are significantly higher than the $60k a standard diesel cab runs but Tesla estimates that its vehicles can operate 20 percent more efficiently (2kWh per mile, Musk revealed Thursday), and save up to $250,000 over the million-mile life of the Semi.

Each rig is “designed like a bullet,” Musk said at the vehicle’s unveiling, and would come equipped with a massive 1MW battery pack. This reportedly offers a 20-second 0-60, which is impressive given that these vehicles are towing up to 80,000 pounds at a time, and a spent-to-80 percent charge time of just 30 minutes. The Semis are also outfitted with Enhanced Autopilot capabilities, as well as jackknife-mitigation systems, blind-spot sensors and data-logging for fleet management.

As reservations opened in 2017, Musk said at the time, deliveries would begin two short years later, in 2019. By April 2020, Tesla had officially pushed that delivery date back to 2021, citing production delays and supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just two months after that, in May of 2020, Musk sent a company-wide email reading, “It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design,” as seen by CNBC. In the same email he confirmed that production would take place in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.

Cut to July, 2021, and the new delivery date has been pushed again, this time to 2022, citing both the ongoing global processor shortage and its own pandemic-limited battery production capability for the new 4680 style cells as contributing factors.

“We believe we remain on track to build our first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin in 2021,” Musk said during the company’s Q2, 2021 investor call. “The pace of the respective production ramps will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new product and manufacturing technologies, ongoing supply-chain-related challenges and regional permitting.”

“To better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have shifted the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022,” he continued. Beginning in May of this year, Tesla started actively taking reservations again for a $20,000 deposit. “And first deliveries are now,” Musk said on Thursday before welcoming Kirk Tanner, CEO PepsiCo Beverages North America, and Steven Williams, CEO PepsiCo Foods North America, on stage for high fives and handshakes.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.

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