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Social media brand analysis: Does your brand speak to gen Z?

Gen Z has a language all its own. Cap isn’t a hat, slaps have nothing to do with fighting, and drip isn’t wet.

This unique approach to communication moves at the speed of our very short attention spans (yes, I myself am gen Z). We like something. We get bored. We move on. Here at Relative Insight, we wanted to qualify the language used by gen Z and understand how brands speak to gen Z and are keeping up with this rapid evolution of communication on social media – so we created the vibe checker.

are you passing the vibe check to speak to gen Z?

First, we conducted an open-ended survey of gen Z respondents to create our own data set of language. By inputting your Twitter @ into our vibe checker, we can compare your tweets against those of our gen Z respondents to understand how closely you speak to that generation. The vibe checker will give you a percentage of your similarity to gen Z, and the results are surprising. 

We ran a few popular brands through the vibe checker to see, which brands speak to gen Z and discovered that KFC comes closest, while Etsy came in at only 15% similarity.

This might come as a surprise that a 69-year-old brand is more current than a 16-year-old one, but when you look at the verbatim tweets it makes sense. Etsy typically tweets promotional and wholesome content, which maybe aren’t subjects top of mind for younger consumers. KFC, on the other hand, tweets about current events, memes and trends while still tying back to the brand and fried chicken. 

A higher ranking isn’t always better. As a fast food brand, KFC can get away with conversational or trendy language, while it might seem out of character for a financial institution. The industry a company exists in impacts the content of its tweets, leaving subjects not commonly included in casual conversation at a disadvantage in this competition. 

Without further ado, here’s our official ranking:

  1. KFC 53%
  2. Amazon 50%
  3. Arby’s 44%
  4. Hulu 40%
  5. Patagonia 36%
  6. Netflix 33%
  7. Seamless 32%
  8. Oreo 31%
  9. Airbnb 31%
  10. Nintendo America 30%
  11. Ben and Jerry’s 29%
  12. Starbucks 29%
  13. FedEx 28%
  14. Old Spice 27% 
  15. Playstation 26%
  16. McDonald’s 26%
  17. Twitter 24%
  18. Samsung 24%
  19. Doritos 23%
  20. JetBlue 23%
  21. Chase 23%
  22. Wendys 21%
  23. Gatorade 21%
  24. Whole Foods 20%
  25. Verizon 19%
  26. Uber 18%
  27. Samsung 18%
  28. Casper 17%
  29. USPS 16%
  30. Etsy 15%

Relative Insight’s Global gen Z Report

We wanted to work outside of the old cliches, when it came to thinking about generation Z, so we ran some research surveying hundreds of millennial and gen Z respondents from across the world. We asked them long, open-ended questions about their opinions on social media, brand loyalty, consumerism, sustainability, activism, and whether they think this – 😂 really is over.

We compared responses from the two demographics and were able to uncover fascinating insights about how each view themselves and the world around them – and these insights are crucial for any brand or agency needing to crack this enigmatic generation and speak to gen Z – download the report below.

Access the report button