Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Jelena Košutić, Executive Director of Operations, Golin Belgrade
What will year 2018 bring to PR professionals? What challenges will they face? And how to confront them? The answers to these and many other questions are given in the Relevance Report, which contains 30 short essays on global trends that will impact the PR profession in 2018. The report is spearheaded by Golin Chairman Fred Cook, who is also the Director for the University of Southern California Public Relations Center, and prepared by experts of leading PR and marketing agencies, clients and academics.
Special attention has drawn the text titled “Gen Blend … But not Blending in” by Deanne Yamamoto, managing director of Golin LA. In the text, Yamamoto deals with the phenomenon of generation Z (post-millennials), which is predicted to be significantly different from all the previous ones.
And why does Yamamoto call it “Gen Blend”? According to the author, this is the first generation to grow up seeing interracial relationships, gay marriage and equality for all on mainstream media. Fifty percent identify as mixed race or as part of an ethnic group. And for what reason are they so important for PR and marketing experts? Because unlike other generations, they’ve had smartphones since elementary school, so watching world events in the palm of their hands or having anything delivered by simply asking Alexa is the norm. And of course, because of $44 billion in purchasing power, with which they will account for 40 percent of all consumers by 2020.
Yamamoto further argues that, regardless of the fact that they are “blended generation”, they aren’t about blending in – they expect a special approach. The author states what should be taken into consideration if we turn to this generation:
Real people, for real. Gen Blend judges with their eyes first. They don’t want polish or perfection. Instead, they want people who look like and believe in the same things that they do. The story behind the story is key, which is why celebrities are dwarfed by the Instagram influencers and YouTubers who are their make-up artists, designers and personal chefs. Influencers are seen as trustworthy and relevant because have they expertise in the types of products they promote and engage with. In fact, 63 percent of this generation prefers to see real people, not celebrities in ads.
Smartphones ARE life. Always in hand, smartphones are omnipresent in their lives. Blending online and real-life experiences like no other generation, these demanding consumers want a quick, seamless, customized experience. They rely on Yelp or Amazon ratings and reviews and YouTube to expose what products do or don’t do. They have pervasive attitude – if it isn’t on social media, it doesn’t exist. And, despite still visiting the mall, their online buying habits have wreaked havoc on impulse-purchase products. Basically, those who can’t immediately deliver or who complicate their lives in any way become irrelevant.
Mobile isn’t just for phones. Anytime, anywhere is their moniker. Ever-present technology has made Gen Blend the most mobile generation. But beyond cord cutting, it has impacted entertainment, food, malls and even parent drivers. Who knows what’s next? Brands who lean into this new perspective will outpace those who don’t. Recently, Nintendo Switch transformed its home console into a portable system that can be played anywhere. Food trucks have become an on-demand culinary staple. Uber has impacted teens not wanting to drive, while pop-up apparel shops make fashion accessible to all.
Yamamoto believes that the world according to Gen Blend is changing at Internet speed. As she says, brands that are inclusive, thoughtful and swift to act will be relevant, swipe right. Otherwise, swipe left.
PR and marketing experts worldwide, good luck!