min read

Marketing to Gen Z | Tapping Into Subcultures

Written by
Izzy Hall
Published on
July 25, 2023
Last updated
January 18, 2024

What this article covers

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Gen Zers are a generation of digital natives. They live their lives online and are connecting with people across the world based on their likes and passions. And, perhaps unlike previous generations, this generation thinks it’s cool to be different: they recognise the value in individuality and celebrate one another's quirks - in fact, 26% of Gen Zers from the US feel like they can be themselves more online. And this is where subcultures come in. 

Subcultures are a group of people within society who differentiate themselves from the norms and values of mainstream society. Connecting through their passion points and niche aesthetics, there’s a subculture for everyone, from gamer girl and cottagecore to dark academia and e-boys. 

Our upcoming snapshot explores what these Gen Z subcultures are and asks why they matter to your brand and youth marketing. In this blog post, we share some key takeaways. 

https://www.tiktok.com/@adventuringbeth/video/7187374500655205638?lang=en&q=cottage%20core&t=1690287699582

What is Gen Z interested in? 

Our research revealed that Gen Z’s top two activities are gaming (37% from the UK and 38% from the US) and photography (26% from the UK and 36% from the US). 

https://www.tiktok.com/@lindseyszn/video/7224989079916514603?lang=en&q=gamer%20girl%20&t=1690287598288

In terms of aesthetics, our survey revealed the most popular in the UK to be: 

  1. Minimalist (36%)
  2. Soft (30%)
  3. Vintage (19%) 

Spotlight: The Streetwear Bro 

The Streetwear Bro is for the laidback, trendy, and cool Gen Zers. It’s been around for as long as we can remember, but it’s making a dramatic comeback amongst this young generation. Key clothing items for the Streetwear Bro include cargo pants and oversized t-shirts with logos.

Streetwear has been around as a subculture for as long as we can remember. Brands such as Supreme have developed cult Gen Z fanbases, attracting millions to their exclusive drops and worn by celebrities like Drake and ASAP Rocky.

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A post shared by Supreme (@supremenewyork)

Why is understanding Gen Z subcultures important for youth marketers? 

Successful marketing to Gen Z is no longer about tapping into the generation en masse - it’s about exploring smaller, unique communities who are prepared to invest serious time, money, and effort into your brand. Once you earn the trust of a dedicated Gen Z subculture, you’ll have them for life. Just watch that engagement soar!

Want more like this? The full infographics are ready to download now! Find the UK version here, or US version here.

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