Customer Experience & Design

Catering to digital natives: how to tailor your CX to Millennials and Gen Z

Written by Michael Vromans on 7, Apth 2021

Whether you’ve realized it or not, Millennials and Gen Z are quickly becoming your customer base. Millennials are already the biggest generation group, and their successors, Gen Z, aren’t far behind either.

These two groups have a colossal amount of buying power and will soon be the driving force of the economy. They also have the flexibility to buy any products and services they want as everything is within reach and only a few clicks away. 

In short, Gen Z and Millennials can have a major impact on the success of your brand strategy. But first, you have to focus on bridging the gap between their demands and expectations and your customer experience (CX). Now is the time to start designing a CX that will suit them.

Navigating the shifting CX landscape

Millennials and Gen Z are the most connected, most diverse, and most fluid generations in history. They favor authenticity, and expect an omnichannel CX. They aren’t just changing the CX landscape; they determine it.

Both Millennials and Gen Z blend the physical and digital aspects of their lives. But while these groups have a lot in common, they don’t necessarily respond to brands the same way. They shop and buy differently. Part of the challenge for marketers is identifying the nuances and personality quirks of each of these generations. Let’s dive into them briefly.

Gen Z and Millennials have not had the same overall experience with technology. Millennials grew up with Walkmen, VHS tapes, CD players, and the first generation of cell phones. They watched digital innovation begin and were quick to embrace the mobile era. 

Gen Z, however, was immersed in it from day one. And as a result, Gen Z is more likely to embrace new technology and to expect brand innovation. 

Another major difference is how each group perceives the brands they engage with. Both Gen Z and Millennials want brands to be authentic. But Gen Z is more skeptical. Gen Z needs to know and understand who they’re buying from. 

For example, you can’t talk about sustainability if you’re not practicing it. Huggies diapers discovered this, when they launched The Pure & Natural diaper. While their advertising and packaging boasted the use of "organic cotton", the organic cotton was actually only a small piece on the outside of the diaper. The Pure & Natural diaper was also marketed as a “green” model, but hardly used a fraction of renewable materials in the inner lining, and no biodegradable materials at all.

Critics were quick to identify the bait and switch, and Huggies ultimately discontinued the diaper after backlash.

Looking to the future

In order to adapt your CX to the needs of these two groups, focus on the four things that will win them over:

1. Instant gratification

For better or for worse, Millennials and Gen Z are primed for instant gratification. They expect their online experiences to be instant and seamless. And they expect their products, both physical and digital, to be well-designed.

2. Appealing content 

Millennials and Gen Z are looking to be engaged with, not to be sold to. They want to know whether or not your brand will fit with their own unique identity. Keep your content original, engaging, and to the point, and only report on topics that they will find interesting.

3. Strong values

Millennials and Gen Z want their brands to stand for something. Purchase decisions in these groups are driven by your brand’s values and stances on issues that are important to them. They want to make sure their money is going towards something they believe in. 

So don’t be shy about what matters to your brand. Be vocal about your morals and values.

4. Personalization

Millennials and Gen Z’s live in a world of endless options. In this highly competitive environment, being personal and human is everything.

To make a lasting impression, make use of the digital footprint your customers leave behind. Leverage the insights and data you collect to optimize your performance marketing and campaigns.

Millennials and Gen Z will soon make up the bulk of the workforce, and are just reaching their prime spending years. These two groups are true digital natives. They expect a CX that fits their needs and moves beyond functionality into being emotionally engaging. To win them over, you need to be authentic and stay true to your brand’s story. 


Are you ready to meet and exceed their expectations?  

STORY WRITTEN BY
Michael Vromans
Chief Creative Officer
Michael Vromans
Chief Creative Officer

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