What Trolli Teaches Us About Marketing to Gen Z

While many brands continue to take steps to pull in the coveted millennial demographic, others are trying to get ahead of the curve with their successors, Generation Z.

Gen Z, defined by being born between the late 1990s and the early 2000s, is the first generation to have Internet access so readily available to them at a young age. With that, they’ve been surrounded by an unprecedented amount of technology in their upbringing and should be marketed to accordingly. However, to boil it down to simply using technology to appeal them would display a shallow understanding of their nature.

When designing your next marketing program around reaching this demographic — which now accounts for 25% of the U.S. population — keep in mind some of these learnings from Trolli, owners of the “weirdly awesome” gummies that continue to make waves with Gen Z.

1.     Celebrities come in all forms: Whether it is a professional athlete, a musician or a social media star, Gen Z loves their celebrities. When NBA star (and Trolli fanatic) James Harden of the Houston Rockets approached them about a partnership, they dove in headfirst. Harden is as unique and authentic as they come in professional sports, affording Trolli countless opportunities to turn his star-power into marketing gold. Not only have they created Harden-themed gummies and packaging, but Trolli also has released an Emoji keyboard using his likeness and gummies, allowing kids across the country to communicate with their popular branded content – and they’re eating it up.

2.     Stay relevant: With the recent shift of more people using messenger apps than social networks, brands are shifting their attention accordingly. In order to capitalize on that trend, Trolli created its very own chatbot on Facebook Messenger. Armed with interactive quizzes, GIFs, memes, offbeat advice and more, users get a “daily blast of weird” from the Trolli chatbot. Those who are most active also get the opportunity to win prizes, with many users getting shipments of Trolli candy right to their front door. While they were not the first brand to deploy a chatbot, being on top of this trend at the outset afforded Trolli the opportunity to create a fun and unique experience that has captivated Gen Z and created great affinity for the brand.

3.     Keep it authentic and transparent: It may seem obvious, but there is nothing worse than coming off as disingenuous with your marketing initiatives. This generation may be young, but they are extremely discerning and will see right through you. In order to win their hearts, let them immerse themselves in your brand and organically become advocates rather than outwardly trying to sell them your product. 

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