Some may believe “brick and mortar” stores to be outdated. Many physical store locations are shutting their doors, due to lack of traffic. It is easy to point fingers and blame the youth of today, but in reality, it may not be completely their fault.
One might think that because Gen Z is such a technology-focused generation, they prefer online shopping, which is in turn leading to the death of physical retail stores: Retail-Mageddon. However, this does not appear to be entirely accurate. While Retail-Mageddon is an actuality for American brands everywhere, according to surveys of today’s teens, most do not have as negative of an outlook on physical stores as preceding generations believe. A large portion of Gen Zers, 66%, report having an equally enjoyable experience shopping in stores as they do online. Online shopping may be easier or more convenient, but going to a store and browsing through selections can be a far more fun experience. Most Gen Zers believe virtual shops have the same selection and pricing as physical stores and say it is just as easy to find what they are looking for in both.
Forbes published an article recently detailing how the physical store isn’t dead, the problem is boring or stale advertising and marketing techniques. A favorite brand of many Gen Z teens is Forever 21. Forever 21 has successfully managed to market to today’s youth by primarily utilizing social media channels, Instagram in particular. The brand’s Instagram page has 14.7 million followers and a very high engagement rate. Forever 21 posts images that appeal to teens and do not necessarily feel like advertisements. Because of this approach, they have been successful in establishing themselves as one of the main trendsetters in mainstream fashion.
Physical retail is not dead. It is possible to market to Gen Z; the problem is static and dated marketing methods, not the stores themselves.
In April, Nintendo released their newest gaming device, the Nintendo Labo®. In preparation for the release, Nintendo partnered with SkoolLive to promote the Labo® campaign. Nintendo’s target audience is made up primarily of Gen Z, a demographic that SkoolLive has widespread access to. On SkoolLive kiosks nationwide, Nintendo has been promoting the Labo®, which is a series of “do-it-yourself” (DIY) gaming accessories for the Nintendo Switch®.
Made of cardboard, gamers build various items, dubbed Toy-Cons, and bring them to life with the Nintendo Switch®. Designed to breed creativity and promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related careers in children and users of all ages, the Labo® is considered a tool for learning and interesting today’s youth in learning and creating.
Throughout the Labo’s® brief existence, it has been widely praised by gamers, parents, and has been promoted by the public figure and well-known scientist Bill Nye. Parents praise the Labo® for allowing children to create and explore a world of their own and say it is an amazing experience being able to watch children become excited about something they have created for themselves.
Labos® are made mostly from recycled materials, and are recyclable themselves, making them inexpensive and environmentally responsible. SkoolLive is excited to announce the partnership with Nintendo and to continue helping promote the Labo®.
Marketing is an ever-changing entity in the commercial and retail worlds. Companies are always finding new methods of spreading brand awareness and advertising. Accessing the target audience is one of the main concerns in marketing. The school-aged population, which today is comprised of Gen Z, is one of the largest and most actively targeted demographics in retail. Many brands targeting this age group will utilize a presence on school campuses nationwide.
Many large corporations are currently present on school campuses, of all grade levels, all across the country. These brands admit that school advertising, or having a presence in schools, is crucial to their business. Several have stated to SkoolLive they rely on Gen Z students for the future of their brands, but are unwilling to pay for the access to them. Companies like these often have upwards of several billion dollars in revenue and refuse to put any of this money into furthering the education and well-being of those they say are necessary to their marketing and advertising efforts.
SkoolLive is an advocate for schools. Brands partner with SkoolLive, enabling them to negotiate reasonable deals with schools. SkoolLive’s main objective is to ensure schools receive a fair compensation for allowing these brands onto their campuses. SkoolLivewants to protect their schools, and educate those that are not.
Every campus has worth. Each one is incredibly valuable. Do not let brands take advantage of schools any longer. Let SkoolLive fight for your school.
Connecting with the youth of today, “Gen Z”, can be very difficult. With so much information at their fingertips, it can be a challenge to communicate, or even to get them to look up from their screens. At SkoolLive, we have found a way to help bridge that gap between schools and students. By installing large digital kiosks, at no cost to schools, we create channels of communication that allow the staff to reach the students in a way that is appealing and familiar – digitally. These kiosks look, and act, like giant iPhones, a platform Gen Z can understand.
Our kiosks function as digital and interactive bulletin boards. With different formats for the different age groups, elementary/middle school, and high school, we truly cater to all audiences. The younger age group model is slightly simpler, and more intuitive, specifically designed with this age group in mind. This version includes coloring and trivia games to engage students, as well as providing the perfect venue for announcements from the school.
High school students have different interests than elementary-to-middle school-aged students. Therefore, their kiosks are different and more complex. SkoolLive’s high school kiosks include the school’s Twitter feed for students to scroll through, a job board for local businesses to post on, and even a deals section for teens to find coupons for local retailers and restaurants.
We cut back on the waste of paper by eliminating the need for flyers and traditional bulletin boards and allow for immediate messaging, not needing to wait for the copier in the staff room to be free for printing a bunch of flyers. On top of installing these amazing kiosks at no cost to schools, SkoolLive shares a portion of our revenue with the campuses that choose to utilize our services. Using our kiosks is a win-win for everyone involved.
Millennials, who are predominantly liberal-minded, are often credited as being the biggest catalysts for social change. More than 50% of Millennials are self-identified activists, and see making a difference as personally gratifying. Gen Z, even though it’s oldest members are only in college, is prepared to overthrow their Millennial counterparts, and take over that title. The past few years in America have been filled with unrest and controversy. All the recent turmoil has bred a far more socially-aware and activism driven generation than any before.
Over the years, Millennials have consistently expressed concern for the environment and the well-being of the planet. Unlike Millennials, however, the environment is not one of Gen Z’s main concerns. Members of Gen Z have expressed to SkoolLive they are more concerned with their education, both foreign and domestic terrorism, unemployment, a global financial crisis, and racism and prejudices.
Gen Z does not simply complain about the issues facing America today; it is a group that acts. In the last year, 23% of Gen Zers reported boycotting an activity or brand, and 37% donated either time or money to a worthy cause. The overwhelming majority, 85%, believes brands and companies have an obligation to help solve social problems. When a brand supports a cause deemed significant by Gen Z or a company is socially responsible, Gen Zers are exponentially more likely to trust the brand and purchase their products.
Millennials normalized change-making behaviors, but Gen Z is beginning to take that mindset to new heights. Participating in activism is part of the Gen Z identity, and caring about social issues is simply expected. SkoolLive gives Gen Z students a platform to express themselves and their opinions in front of their peers nationwide. Young Americans are tired of witnessing struggle and injustice across the country. They are on a mission to make a difference, they fear nothing when it comes to making positive social changes, and are utilizing SkoolLive kiosks to do it.
It is no secret that Instagram reigns supreme in the world of pop culture and trends. The first place people turn when wondering what clothes are “in”, or what makeup looks are hot right now, etc., is Instagram. Particularly, the pages of individuals known as “influencers”.
Influencers are typically young people, who have hundreds of thousands of followers or more. They are considered the trendiest and the most in-the-know people on social media. Many of these influencers have attained almost celebrity status. Being famous is a relatively common dream shared by many people. Today, what that looks like to young people has changed. Most Gen Zers would rather become a social media influencer than a traditional celebrity. SkoolLive has come up with a way to help teens on the path to Internet fame.
The SkoolLive Student Influencer Program helps Gen Z teens jump start their journey, by literally giving Student Influencers access to a nationwide, entirely Gen Z audience. True, there are other programs out there similar to this, however, most of these have some hidden downsides. Some other comparable programs either do not allow their influencers to use their own platforms, meaning they are essentially borrowing the program’s followers instead of growing their own, or the program will take a cut of the influencers’ earnings. SkoolLive not only gives Student Influencers the audience to help build their following, but helps them earn money and receive free swag from their brand partnerships.
What is popular is always changing, and SkoolLive believes the “next big thing” is somewhere on one of their campuses, just waiting to be discovered. SkoolLive’s goal with this program is to empower students to create amazing content, and to help them realize their dreams.