In a move that reflects market demand, especially from the important Gen Z demographic, Samsung is incorporating more social purpose across its organization, including marketing. The company’s marketing mission includes more social purpose strategies hyperfocused on targeting younger audiences, as announced at its Cannes Lions panel, “Dreamers with Purpose: The Next 50 Years.” The fireside chat, which coincided with the company’s semicentennial, featured YoungHee Lee, Samsung chief marketing officer, and Susan Buckner Rose, Instagram product marketing director.
The “dreamers with a purpose” that Samsung is referring to is Gen Z. Moderated by Benjamin Braun, Samsung Europe’s chief marketing officer, the panel explored the ways in which Samsung is utilizing research to develop technology that evolves alongside Gen Z, a group that comprises nearly two and a half billion across the globe.
“We don’t just want to be another good company. Our goal is to be an authentic and relevant brand to this generation. They’re less interested in storytelling. They want brands to be storyliving. It’s our job to help them dream better, and make their dreams come true,” Lee told the audience.
Lee touched on the main takeaways Samsung uncovered through its research. She describes Gen Z as an authentic generation who wants to present themselves as they are, as opposed to who they think the world wants them to be. Samsung’s research shows that 67 percent of Gen Z said a person is cool when they’re true to their values and they feel the same way about brands. Moreover, 77 percent believe doing good should be part of running a business.
They’re also an autonomous group of individuals who resort to online resources, including video, to learn how to achieve goals on their own. Seventy percent of Gen Z watch more than two hours of YouTube every single day and nearly two-thirds admitted they’re addicted to technology, Samsung findings show. Despite their obsession with tech, Gen Z also value interpersonal relationships on a local and global level alike.
Brands should look for ways to fulfill Gen Z’s desire to express themselves while also satiating their tech habits. One effective tool to do so includes Instagram. “This relationship between brands, people and creators is a really powerful business opportunity on Instagram,” Rose said. Instagram’s findings also speak to this truth: 80 percent of people on Instagram follow a business and two-thirds of the people who visit a business profile are non-followers. Tapping an influencer to drive brand values, therefore, is important for connecting with Gen Z.
An animated video spot shown during the panel echoed Samsung’s commitment to understanding Gen Z values: “You are the citizens of the future and we walk with you.”
Braun revealed answers from an audience survey to conclude the panel. In response to, “What’s most effective to reach Gen Z audiences?” 76 percent agreed that it’s branded or influencer organic content. As for whether brands are ready to “run edgy campaigns targeting Gen Z,” 41 percent of the audience voted the edgier, the better. Lastly, when asked if social responsibility matters when talking to Gen Z, 71 percent said that brands must reflect the values of this new generation.