More and more companies are starting to focus their attention on targeting Generation Z with their branding and marketing efforts. Company branding is so important because at the base-level, it is a business’s identity. As Gen Z begins to enter the workforce, their power and influence over business grows. This generation has a few design expectations, both consciously and unconsciously, when it comes to supporting a brand. By analyzing these expectations, marketers and designers can gain key insights into how to design an effective brand for Gen Z-ers.
Gen Z grew up with technology and they expect design “to be as digitally intuitive as they are” (MERó, 2019). If a design is not functionable, Gen Z will reject it. This generation is “innovative ‘unique-seekers’” (MERó, 2019). Therefore, designers can have a lot of fun with their projects by playing with bold colors, images, and typography. Gen Z believes that all designs, whether digital or print, must have a consistent look and feel that is unique and easily recognizable as a certain brand.
Gen Z is characterized as having dynamic identities. In this same way, they are expecting businesses to have a dynamic identity. What does this mean? They expect brands to follow the latest trends and have a degree of flexibility. Because of this dynamic nature, brands can “date easily – particularly when competing against the almost daily influx of fresh new brands designed more recently for a new generation’s needs – thus grabbing their attention” (MERó, 2019). So, brands need to be refreshed more frequently for this group than ever before.
Connection and engagement drive this generation’s brand commitment. It is important to remain “current to the ever-changing Gen Z consumer,” this “involves keeping a consistent brand identity, deep rooted in the brand’s values, but one that’s supported with a set of regularly updated brand guidelines that can flex with current trends and channels” (MERó, 2019).
What does a flexible identity system look like? A “fixed primary brand colour palette, logo and typography style” paired with “seasonal / trend-led identity packs with a flexible palette of icons and colours to reflect ‘trends’” reflects a flexible identity system (MERó, 2019). Furthermore, companies need to understand what type of media to create and share to build their identity such as short videos and image arrangements.
A flexible identity system is the future of company branding that will help business’s meet the needs and expectations of Generation Z. By adopting a flexible identity system with intelligent design, marketers and designers can create effective brand designs that speak to Gen Z and helps businesses achieve resonance.
MERó. (2019, January 18). Designing for Gen Z. Medium. Retrieved October 1, 2021, from https://medium.com/@MERo/designing-for-gen-z-387b43ee80c0.