Some may believe “brick and mortar” stores to be outdated.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.
College is one of the most exciting, but scary times in a young person’s life. With the end of the school year quickly approaching, it is a topic on most graduating seniors’ minds. Until now, Millennials have been considered the most educated generation. The percentage of Millennials with a Bachelor’s degree is almost double that of their grandparents’ generation, The Silent Generation. However, Generation Z is posed to surpass them.
The vast majority, 89%, of Gen Zers believe a college education is valuable, and necessary for succeeding in the professional world. This does not mean they are ignorant to the price of continuing education. Many teens fear student loans and debt. As a whole, they are shooting for scholarships more than any previous generation. Almost 50% say they are willing to sacrifice some digital privacy, in the form of electronically monitoring their study habits, in order to improve their grades. Similarly, they are working more than Millennials did, to help pay for college. Gen Z is the first generation to truly grow up with the Internet as it exists today. Growing up on smartphones and tablets has enabled Gen Z to become more tech-savvy than many adults. This had made them the most entrepreneurial generation yet. SkoolLive, a Southern California tech and media company, provides access to hundreds of part-time jobs through a local job board featured on their kiosks in high schools nationwide. Many teens also run their own businesses selling homemade items online. According to studies, nearly a quarter of college bound teens plan on paying for college themselves, or at least helping their parents out. Forty percent also plan on working during college to help pay. Not only are they planning on avoiding debt, they are planning for a successful future. Many Gen Zers report wanting a technology related career, and are choosing majors that reflect this.
In the past, most young adults have gone into college without any plan for how it would be paid for, or what after college would look like. Gen Z is breaking the pattern, and learning for their predecessors’ mistakes.
Raising money is never an easy task. Asking for donations is not always the most productive method, while putting on fundraisers requires massive amounts of work. Neither of these methods have a guarantee for success, or even breaking even. Unfortunately, many schools today do not have the budget to adequately provide all supplies necessary, meaning they rely heavily on donations and fundraising to pay for all the things classrooms need. Tim Tahti, the ASB advisor and a teacher at Warm Springs Middle School in Murrieta, California, told SkoolLive he spends hundreds of dollars per year on tape alone. Tahti was referring to the cost of the supplies needed simply to create bulletin boards across Warm Springs’ campus. Hundreds of dollars per school year, wasted.
SkoolLive helps cut down these costs, and enables schools to maximize their fundraising. By providing trademarked kiosks at no cost, SkoolLive allows schools to not only communicate with their Gen Z students more effectively, but to fundraise more successfully as well. When a school partners with SkoolLive, they are able to leverage the local and national brand partnerships, such as Nintendo and the NFL, SkoolLive has. These brands pay to be sponsors, and are featured on SkoolLive kiosks. National brand sponsors are featured on kiosks across the country, while the local brands are featured only where they are relevant. Not only are these ads far more engaging than traditional, static ads, they are “eco-friendly”, and save schools money on supplies. On top of receiving the kiosks at no cost and gaining access to a network of sponsors, SkoolLive schools are given a SkoolLive Advocate, who works personally with the schools and the brands, who speaks on the schools’ behalf, and ensures all parties are happy.
Schools across the country are able to maximize fundraising and revenue generation by utilizing the tools and relationships SkoolLive provides. No longer do schools need to waste hundreds of dollars per year, and massive amounts of paper on fundraising efforts. Fundraising with SkoolLive is free, engaging, and effective.