What Gen Z Look for Brands on TikTok


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Gen Z

Photo by Ben Weber on Unsplash

Most of today’s video marketing statistics mentioned how TikTok could be such a must-use marketing platform. With more than 1 billion monthly active users, this video-sharing app has now become a potential marketing channel for every business out there. With the domination of Gen Z (60%) on the platform, brands need the right approach to this tech-savvy, curious, and picky generation. 

To develop a TikTok marketing strategy that can attract them, you need to understand what they look for in a brand in the first place.

So, what does this generation truly care about, and how can you align with their values in a genuine way when you run a TikTok marketing campaign?

How’s Gen Z Different?

By 2026, Gen Z will be the largest generation, at around 82 million people worldwide. This generation (anyone born from 1997 to 2021) doesn’t respond to marketing campaigns the same way.

When we talk about the buying habits of Gen Z, they tend to be pragmatic and always want brands to innovate constantly. This generation is value-conscious and drawn to brands that can keep it real and creative. And, 72% of them use videos to learn about a product than reading a text. Therefore, short videos on TikTok make a great tool for introducing products for this generation. 

With the sea of options on TikTok, providing a brilliant product pitch isn’t convincing enough for them– as there are always alternatives. They care about how you can make it stick to their mind, from content creation to even customer service

What Gen Z Look for Brands on TikTok?

Historically, marketing to Gen Z on TikTok has been tricky. The user behavioral data is quite hard to track as the trends on the platform come and go in a blink of an eye.

That said, the online nature of Gen Z makes understanding and learning their buying behavior much less of a guessing game.

Gen Z loves authenticity

First and foremost, Gen Z is all about authenticity. Gen Z will have no problem interacting with brands on TikTok that incorporate authenticity, diversity, and inclusion in their content.

They are immediately turned off by anything fake or gimmicky. This means those cheap-looking slide-show videos using stock images with a muffled voice-over just don’t cut it. Make sure you highlight what makes your brand different from competitors– whether in terms of features, missions, or campaigns.

Gen Z is all about transparency

The word “transparency” is tossed around a lot in TikTok marketing, but Gen Z actually wants to see it in action. They want to know what the brand is doing to make an impact. They want to know exactly how the brand is using their money. 

There are tons of charity programs from brands on the platform. Gen Z wants to know that those brands aren’t misleading them about their product or mission. They want to know that brands aren’t lying about their charitable work or inclusive hiring practices.

Gen Z loves diversity and inclusion

Gen Z isn’t just about a couple of token minorities or women in the workplace. Gen Z is about the inclusion of everyone. Their avid support of brands that are inclusive is changing the landscape of the marketing industry.

Gen Z isn’t interested in brands that are just writing they’re inclusive in their TikTok profile bio. They want to know that the brands they’re supporting are hiring and showcasing diverse talent. And they want to know that the brands they’re supporting are donating to causes that are inclusive.

Gen Z is all about efficiency

Brands that are doing good don’t have the luxury of taking their time. Gen Z doesn’t have the patience to wait around for a brand to do good. They want to know upfront that the brands they’re interested in take some actions to make a difference.

That said, they want to know that the brand they’re supporting is efficient. They don’t have time for brands to drag their feet and aren’t efficient with their time or money.

Gen Z cares about causes, not just brands.

While it may seem obvious, Gen Z cares about the causes a brand supports. They are so passionate about social justice issues that they have no interest in brands supporting causes just to get some good PR. 

Again, Gen Z likes brands that are actually making a change, not just bluntly saying that they are. They aren’t that interested in seeing brands pat themselves on the back for doing good. In this case, creating hard-selling TikTok content won’t get you anywhere.

You need to keep up with the social issues that everyone’s been talking about recently. Thus, make content out of it to show how your brand can make it any better at least.

Wrapping Up

Compared to other marketing channels, TikTok is more like an entertainment platform rather than a place to sell a product. It’s full of younger generations that demand meaningful connection and creativity. That’s how you should focus on the engagement before you move the ball further down the field to increase sales. 

Now that you know what Gen Z looks for in a brand– on TikTok, especially, you’re one step closer to marketing to this generation on the platform. Keep in mind that Gen Z is a dynamic group. Their interests and buying behaviors will change as they get older. Marketers must stay on top of these ever-changing trends to connect with Gen Z.

Andre Oentoro
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).


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