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| | 3 minute read

A Guide for Incorporating Gen Z Slang into Targeted Media to Build Brand Loyalty

Here's how to master Gen Z slang for targeted media success. Connect authentically with our concise guide. Uniquely target generations to engage and convert customers.


The other day a work meeting turned into me giving a pop quiz on Gen Z lingo/slang. Looking into the eyes of my Millennial and Gen X coworkers I could see they were trying to understand, but might not quite fully get it. This got me thinking, how many brands and marketers are there that want to connect with Gen Z, and understand the code they speak? Thus, the inspiration for this blog. We hope you learn something, and always use your best judgment to decide what will fit best when trying to connect with any generation.


Pop Quiz: Gen Z Slang

Let's start with a self-assessment. How many words can you match with their meaning? You can find the answer key at the bottom of this post!




1. Cringe A. To represent the characteristic.
2. Rizz B. Delusional
3. Delulu C. Has a handle on something.
4. Coded, Core D. Charismatic
5. Giving/Serving E. Super awkward and embarrassing.
6. Understand the Assignment F. To take on the trait of the thing that precedes it.


Understanding Gen Z: A Unique Targeted Media Marketing Challenge

Marketing to Gen Z (or any generation), is a distinctive challenge compared to other age brackets because of their powerful uniqueness and influence. They can make or break political candidates, and start trends, both "cringy" (not good) and "stan-worthy"(good). Born in the late 1990s to early 2000s, Gen Zer's are highly connected and socially conscious. This makes sense since they are the first generation of true digital natives. Advertising has been a constant presence in their lives, making it harder for brands to make a stand-out impression. So how do you go about growing that relationship?

Gen Z is Value Loyal vs. Brand Loyal

Gen Zer's aren’t brand loyal. In fact, they are relatively disloyal. With the rising cost of living, this makes sense. Their expectations for customer service and product quality are high, and when left unmet, it’s easier than ever to find an alternative. What they are loyal to is value, a dupe, a hack, a deal. And they'll go to social media to save a few dollars.

One way to lock consumers in has been loyalty programs. Major airlines, and credit card companies, even local coffee shops and nail salons—offer loyalty incentives. And while appreciated, the occasional perk is not always enough to create and maintain a loyal customer base over the long term. In a recent article, McKinsey stated that one way to make loyalty programs relevant for today’s, cost-conscious, GenZers is by building tiered reward systems to bring more customers into the fold. The rationale for this is an individualized loyalty program performs better than a one-size-fits-all one. This way, the consumer also feels that when they make a purchase, they are closer to the next tier, and working towards something while also shopping. 

Popular Gen Z Platforms for Targeted Media

Where does Gen Z spend their time online? Where do they start, share, and share trends? Platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat are where they spend their time, amongst others, but there are a lot more impactful channels to consider. Remember, wherever you or your content creators decide to establish a presence, make sure your messaging style seamlessly fits into these spaces, and your ads match the kind of engagement users are already partaking in on these platforms.

infographic about generation z and their political priorities

Social Media Tips for Targeted Media Marketing to Gen Z

Words matter so proceed with caution. If you make the connection, you may get the vote or the purchase. If you mess it up, you might become a meme.

  • Be a Creator
    • Look for your niche within diverse communities.
    • Aim for authentic engagement with your audience.
    • Curate partnerships carefully and let influencers authentically represent your brand.

  • Don’t Be Too Salesy
    • Provide real value that can be acted on in the moment.
    • Establish yourself as educational and entertaining before making pitches.

  • Meet Your Audience Where They Are
    • Engage with relevant content in the comment section for lively interactions.
    • Explore different platforms and customize messages accordingly.

  • Track and Be Responsive to Customer Feedback and Review
    • Leverage user-generated content for authenticity and transparency.

  • Stay Relevant with Time-Sensitive Posts
    • Utilize Instagram and TikTok Stories for time-sensitive engagement.

  • Learn from Trial and Error
    • Don’t be afraid to try something new, if it works, great. If not, try something else.
    • Balance strategic thinking with agility for consistent messaging.

As we wrap up, remember this: speaking the language of Gen Z isn't just about slang, it's about value and authenticity. So, whether you're sliding into a platform like TikTok or making a Reel for Instagram, do it earnestly, and if you're not sure either don't do it or reach out for an assist. Brands like Media Now Interactive are ready to give you the data and insights you need to make genuine connections. It all starts with data, and knowing your audience.


Answer Key: 1/E - 2/D - 3/B - 4/A - 5/F - 6/C