A Guide to Gen Z Through TikTok Trends, Emojis, & Language: 5 Product Marketing Tips to Help Your Startup Cross the Chasm



Jul 05, 2023 β€’ 4 min read


A Guide to Gen Z Through TikTok Trends, Emojis, & Language: 5 Product Marketing Tips to Help Your Startup Cross the Chasm

In today's digital age, understanding and effectively marketing to Gen Z is crucial for any business looking to thrive. With nearly 3 billion Gen Z individuals alive today, this generation has surpassed Millennials to become the largest generation on the planet. Their spending power, which currently stands at $150 billion, is projected to increase by 70% over the next five years. To successfully reach this audience, it is important to understand their unique characteristics and preferences.

Gen Zs value individual expression and avoid labels, as concluded by McKinsey research. They strive to stand out rather than fit in, and their authenticity and uniqueness are highly cherished. This leads to new forms of consumption, where possession is less important than access, and consumption becomes a means of expressing individual identity. Gen Zs embrace their cringe-worthy moments and bare their souls for the world to see, relying on the uniqueness of their own identities to forge connections.

Creativity and self-expression are highly valued traits among Gen Zs. Over half of them believe that their generation is more creative than previous ones. TikTok, a popular social media platform, plays a significant role in nurturing this culture of creativity. It removes the friction to come up with ideas for content and encourages participation. Unlike other platforms, TikTok has a high percentage of creators. In fact, 55% of TikTok users create content for the platform. This shift towards participatory content creation showcases the growing trend of individuals shifting from consumers to creators.

Stanning, or being a dedicated fan of a creator, has become a unique form of self-expression for Gen Zs. By stanning a creator, they not only find a sense of belonging but also showcase their own identity. This phenomenon highlights the importance of community and individual expression among Gen Zs.

Gen Zs are also known for their pragmatism and self-direction. A significant percentage of them aspire to start their own companies and pursue non-traditional education paths. Autonomy and flexibility are the main drivers behind these aspirations. They want to reclaim agency in a system they perceive as rigged. The rise of entrepreneurship and the gig economy align with Gen Zs' desire for independence and a more flexible work-life balance. As they come of age, the workforce is expected to shift towards a majority-freelance economy by 2026.

Now, let's shift our focus to product marketing tips that can help startups effectively reach Gen Zs and cross the chasm.

  • 1. Better prioritize feature announcements: It is crucial to prioritize feature announcements based on their significance and relevance to the target audience. By avoiding minor, untested features and focusing on more significant releases, you can optimize your marketing efforts and capture the attention of Gen Zs effectively.
  • 2. Stay focused and responsive with weekly sprint cycles: Implementing an agile workflow can greatly benefit your marketing efforts. By adopting weekly sprint cycles and constantly refining your strategies, you can ensure that your team stays focused and responsive to changing market dynamics. This approach enables you to adapt quickly and effectively to the preferences and behaviors of Gen Zs.
  • 3. Put the product on the shelf and empower your customers to do the talking: Product management handles putting the product on the shelf, while product marketing focuses on getting it off the shelf. As a product marketer, you play a crucial role in determining what to build, who it's for, how it works, and more. By empowering your customers to be brand advocates, you can leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Encourage them to publish case studies, support their talks at industry events, and share their success stories. This not only enhances your brand reputation but also helps create a compelling narrative that resonates with Gen Zs.

In conclusion, understanding and effectively marketing to Gen Z requires a deep understanding of their unique characteristics, preferences, and behaviors. Embracing their desire for individual expression, creativity, and autonomy can greatly benefit your marketing efforts. By prioritizing feature announcements, staying agile, and empowering your customers to be brand advocates, you can successfully navigate the challenges of reaching Gen Z and cross the chasm to capture their attention and loyalty.


  1. "A Guide to Gen Z Through TikTok Trends, Emojis, & Language", https://digitalnative.substack.com/p/a-guide-to-gen-z-through-tiktok-trends (Glasp)
  2. "5 product marketing tips to help your startup cross the chasm", https://medium.com/@hughmcfall/5-product-marketing-tips-to-help-your-startup-cross-the-chasm-97e64583fd71 (Glasp)

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