Today’s business world — particularly online — is laden (almost to the point of saturation) with startups of all varieties. It’s cheaper, easier and faster to start a company than ever before, which means there’s an astounding amount of competition. If you’re planning to take on that competition, you need a plan to stand out somehow.
One of the best ways to outperform your rivals is to target a demographic that is commonly overlooked and misunderstood: namely the iGeneration, otherwise known as Generation Z. Much has been made of Millennials, but the oldest members of the iGeneration are now well into adulthood, and primed to be won over by smart brands who aren’t stuck in the past.
But how do you tap into this fresh market? The very first thing you must do (and one of the most important overall) is to identify suitable niche you can enter. Choose well, and you’ll have a great foundation for your success — choose poorly, and your best efforts will go to waste. Here are some niches that are particularly worthy of your consideration:
While the iGeneration is less materialistic in some senses, it generally seems to have a stronger attachment to pop culture pertaining to the “geek” world, which manifests in a lot of money being spent on relevant experiences. The reason for this is evidently that members of it grew up being allowed to openly enjoy whatever they liked, and playing video games or watching anime lost significance as a reason for mockery.
Instead of nights at bars, think about escape rooms, activity trips, cosplay conventions, even LARPing (live-action role-playing). Get your branding right, truly understand what your customers enjoy about what they do, and you’ll be able to make a very healthy profit (it assuredly doesn’t hurt that most geek-friendly activities are also family-friendly).
Members of the iGeneration are more keenly aware of the environmental problems facing the world than the members of any of the generations that came before them. They grew up with steady access to the internet, and used those immense resources to learn about the serious impact of human activity on the world that sustains us — we may need them to finally achieve meaningful change.
If you want to sell to them, you need to understand how much they care about supporting ethical brands, but you can go one step beyond that by making green living the core of your business. You could offer an advice or advocacy service, sell responsibly-sourced products (common enough to be dropshipped, as evidenced by the number of eco-themed stores traded through store marketplaces), or pursue infrastructure improvements — just be mindful that you practice what you preach, because if you’re found to be inauthentic, you’ll face a social media firestorm.
It’s understandable that members of the iGeneration are worried about their career prospects. Their grandparents and great-grandparents enjoyed job security, and even their parents grew up with opportunities that were significantly more stable. What should today’s average teenager do with their life? There are so many avenues they can pursue, but not one seems truly safe.
Accordingly, there’s a huge market in dealing out career advice (general life advice too, in actuality), helping young people find their paths and stepping in wherever possible to help them. You could run a recruitment business targeted at young people, help write and edit job applications, or provide skill training to help candidates increase their chances at being hired.
Health and fitness
Just as they’re mindful of environmental issues, people of the iGeneration are very concerned about their health. Couple access to sites like WebMD with the advent of IoT fitness devices such as FitBits, and you have a recipe for strict commitment to maintaining good health. This is evidenced by the huge rise in popularity of protein products: bars, drinks, and meals.
Think about what you could sell to this market. You could create a range of protein bars if you really wanted to, but you could also curate existing products and serve as an expert guide — something of a remote personal dietary advisor. Or maybe you could sell fitness products: home gym devices and other things of that nature. Ramp up your advertising at the right times — right after the gluttony of Christmas, for instance — and you can reap the rewards.
These 4 niches are all extremely strong contenders, but there are countless others that could be viable when selling to the iGeneration. As long as you consider what makes this generation so different — the environmental awareness, the lack of direction, the eagerness to move away from old professional and personal norms — you’ll have a great shot at choosing something with potential.