Whether it's about aesthetics, authenticity or amazing social content, the Gen Zer is definitely the main character when it comes to shaping trends in the consumer market. 

For example, Gen Zers are adamant that the brands they support should be ethical and are "radically inclusive". Since this shift, which this demographic played a big role in bringing about, brands have placed a greater focus on being authentic and inclusive. 

With this in mind, media update’s Taylor Goodman looks at four of Gen Z's favourite brands and possible takeaways from them for your business.

Who understood the assignment? Let's take a look:

1. Nike

When it comes to conversations about brands with an excellent reputation and even better social media presence, Nike is often in the mix. And understandably so — it produces high quality, fashionable products and remains at the forefront of innovative marketing campaigns. 

This appeal is by no means lost on Gen Z, who are huge fans of the sportswear brand due to its inclusive, virtuous and ethical image. 

Nike often uses its platform to advocate for social change, like with its campaign 'Dream Crazy', which the brand won an Emmy for.

The ad is narrated by activist and former football player Colin Kaepernick. It also highlights famous athletes like Serena Williams and Lebron James. This ad left a mark on consumers with the message, 'Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it'

Additionally, the campaign highlights issues like racial inequality and police misconduct. This, in addition to working with Kaepernick — who took the knee during the national anthem in protest — reinforces the brand's strong ethics and values. 

In their marketing, this brand chose to advocate for change — something Gen Z values more than overly 'salesy' campaigns. So if you want to win points with this demographic, take a stand. You heard Nike — just do it!

2. Doritos

Ah, Doritos — everyone's favourite triangular treat. And as tasty as they are, the brand isn't just scoring points with Gen Z for deliciousness but for its allyship with the LGBTQI+ community. 

In 2015, the famous snack brand launched its Doritos 'Rainbows' campaign in partnership with the It Gets Better project, which is a foundation that aims to uplift LGBTQI+ youth.

*Image courtesy of Thrillist

Doritos has continued to advocate for the queer and transgender community since. Its latest TikTok campaign '#LiveYourFreedom' saw users make videos alongside George Michael's Freedom performed by singer / drag queen Gloria Groove. 

This campaign was a major success online, garnering 1.05 billion views. This alone proves how important it is to younger generations (TikTok's primary user base) that brands advocate for inclusivity of all groups in their marketing content. You heard it, representation is key!

3. Rare Beauty  

If you’re a Gen Zer or a younger Millennial, you likely grew up watching Selena Gomez on The Wizards of Waverly Place. Well, with Selena’s star power — coupled with this brand’s viral power on social media — it seems the duo have hit the goldmine. 

Despite Selena being behind the brand, it is majorly successful with the Gen Z audience due to the light it sheds on mental health awareness, as well as constantly producing inclusive products that can be enjoyed by people of all races.

In 2022, Rare Beauty announced its Rare Impact Fund, which aims to generate USD $100 million over a 10-year period. One percent of all sales and partner donations will be added to the fund, which aims to "address the gaps in mental health services for underserved communities".

In addition to Rare Beauty being advocates for social change, the brand also knows how to go viral — something that can take a brand from zero to 100 in Gen Z’s eyes. 

Recently, the brand made waves on TikTok and Instagram for its ‘blush hack’, which saw the fans use blush as a colour corrector under their concealer. Talk about creative marketing

4. Ben & Jerry’s 

I scream, you scream … Gen Z screams for ice cream — Well, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, to be exact. 

Although the brand produces delicious and unique ice-cream flavours, Gen Z loves the brand's quirky marketing efforts and that it regularly advocates for equality, inclusivity and environmental conservation. 

The brand regularly collaborates with celebrities, as with its latest project 'Mint Chocolate Chance' — a collaboration with Chance the Rapper. Here, not only is the brand capitalising on the exposure from the rapper, but it is spotlighting Social Works as well. 

Ben and Jerry's has also been vocal before 'ethical marketing' began trending, and was ahead of the curve in advocating for social justice and the '#BlackLivesMatter' movement way back in 2016

From a Gen Z perspective, this proves that this is a brand that has clear-cut values and makes ethics a prominent part of its business model before it was the 'in thing' to do. This reinforces Ben & Jerry's authenticity and helps it present as a genuine brand that stands for something, no matter what. Now that's the scoop!

What are some other brands you’re loving right now? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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If you want to learn more about marketing Gen Z, then Marketers, here's four tips for reaching Gen Zers in 2022.
*Image courtesy of Unsplash.