Engaging the Teens of Today

Sophia Sellick


Those born between 1997-2012 are being dubbed as more influential than millennials, wanting to make change in society with environment, diversity, political change, aesthetics, design, fashion and identity.

The most vocal and open-minded generation ever – we’re entering the era of marketing to Gen Z.

This generation of tech savvy kids and teens have been raised on the internet and social media. Many were born after the launch of Facebook, so their whole childhoods were posted online. They owned their first smartphones before their 11th birthdays, and now spend up to nine hours a day consuming media.

So how do we use this insight to reflect our design work and successfully engage with Gen Z?

Using bright and bold colours is a must – in fact Gen Z have their own colour; the Gen Z yellow. Designers should embrace trends like neon gradients and mixed patterns, and experiment with new colour combinations. If it catches your eye and makes you look twice, it will do the same for Gen Z. Though don’t be tempted to use rainbows and other childlike images – this generation has an online presence and consumer pattern that is more mature than their age, so make them feel empowered.

Gen Z have grown up in a world fighting for equality and inclusivity so embrace this fluidity through designs. Blue for boys and pink for girls in a no go!

Once you have a design theme, think about how the audience will use the content you create. As a digital crazy generation, they are going to want shareable content. They’re exposed to many platforms such as social, web and video so ensure content will work on all of these. With minimal attention spans, content needs to be easily understood and quickly capture their attention.

Then think about your campaign messaging and the fonts you use – Gen Z are constantly communicating with friends and family, so their everyday language must be reflected. Stick with casual, clear and direct language to cut through noise.

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