Golin's Gen Z Specialty Releases Year-End Report with Trend Predictions for Brands to Apply in 2023

December 21, 2022

person in a yellow shirt typing on a computer person in a yellow shirt typing on a computer

Agency’s culturecore offering taps unique collective for insights that increase brand connection and acceptance with youth audiences across the U.S.

Los Angeles (December 21, 2022) – Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) agency Golin released today a Gen Z Year-End Report with observations from 2022 and predictions for 2023. The report is designed to counsel brands on youth marketing strategy for the upcoming year, and it’s led by the agency’s culturecore group – a dedicated youth marketing function designed to help brands navigate how to play, socialize, and inspire alongside today’s influential youth demographics.

culturecore tapped into “The Collective,” its unique panel of external individuals in their 20’s to compile meaningful and memorable moments from the past year and assemble important insights for the year ahead. That designated community of diverse creators help the agency  define trends, refine ideas and develop campaigns that protect and propel each brand narrative. culturecore’s findings resulted in five critical predictions for brands to consider in their Gen Z marketing strategies for 2023.

  1. Chaos is the new normal. Gen Z is numb to the newsfeed, and are craving smaller, more meaningful moments that matter to them. Brands should be careful not to invest in big tentpole moments if they don’t have emotional connection for this audience. Instead, they should look to celebrate more relatable everyday moments.
  2. With great power comes…irrelevance? Celebrities are out of touch, and Gen Z would rather see unknown diverse content creators brought into the limelight. Brands should emphasize relatability over reach by tapping into nano-influencers who are already brand superfans.
  3. Cool goes global. Gen Z is bored with oversaturated trends, and more than ever they look overseas for new ideas. Brands should have a global sensibility to keep more in touch with the cultural zeitgeist.
  4. Tech is on fire. Social media has never been more uncertain, but what is certain is that Gen Z doesn’t want the platforms they use (TikTok, Discord, BeReal) to be bombarded with ads or curated content. Brands should look for what the conversation is, not just where it is, to align with this audience’s passions, interests, and communities instead of having a platform-first approach.
  5. We were promised a metaverse. The metaverse doesn’t resonate with Gen Z – a generation who grew up around Roblox and other collaborative, creative games. Instead of investing in expensive metaverse activations brands should consider a more robust gaming strategy, specifically in collaborative worldbuilding.

Golin’s culturecore offering is a unique approach to youth marketing, which soft-launched in 2021 and now services several of Golin’s largest partners in its Top Client Relationship program (who are globally nurtured, and each make up $2M+ in annual revenue). It taps into the agency’s own collective of diverse talent and community creators across the U.S. and globally, leverages proprietary tools to measure young consumer sentiment and helps brands better connect with and gain acceptance from the young audiences critical to their business and brand goals. In recent data commissioned in partnership with YPulse, Golin determined that Gen Z holds 40% of U.S. purchasing power and is the first generation to be almost 50% diverse. Despite spending much of their time in online platforms, they are particularly challenging to earn attention from in that environment.

“Brands are under enormous pressure to differentiate themselves in authentic ways that advance their brand missions,” said Cassandra Orion, senior vice president, youth culture, Golin. “culturecore’s approach closes the gap between strategy and creative to not only allow brands to cooperate with the goals of young people but to invite them to collaborate with its creators who are shaping our future. Our first-ever Year-End Report is just the latest guide to help clients start the conversation on how to achieve effective youth marketing outcomes.”

In addition to the “The Collective” culturecore offers “Vibe Check,” an analytical tool that measures a brand’s young consumer sentiment around six important values to understand how the brand fits within the landscape and competitive set. The team also focuses on cultural insights backed in research, trend reports that forecast future behavior, creative strategy, and production.

Golin’s complete culturecore Year-End Report can be found online here.